City Sports Report

Knicks Underachieving Thus Far by Derrel “Jazz” Johnson

LaLa and Ciara at the Knicks/Magic Game

LaLa and Ciara at the Knicks/Magic Game

Before the shortened, condensed NBA season began, I predicted the New
York Knicks to land the number four spot in the Eastern Division and
advance to the second round of the playoffs. I also predicted that if
Baron Davis returned and could be the player he has been in the past
at his best, the Knicks would have an outside shot at winning a
championship this year. So far, neither one of those teams have
showed up this season.

The brightest spot for the Knicks this season thus far has been an
opening day, Christmas win over the Boston Celtics. With the Celtics
struggling with a record of 4-8, that win may not have been as
impressive as originally thought. Simply put, the New York Knicks are

Even Knicks Head Coach Mike D’Antoni agrees the team is
underachieving. When asked if this is where he thought the team would
be at this point in the season, he responded “I think we lost a couple
of games at home we shouldn’t have.” A look back on the schedule
would point to home losses to the Toronto Raptors (4-10) and the
Charlotte Bobcats (3-11) as two of the games he was referring to.

All-Star Small Forward Carmelo Anthony is third in the league in
scoring, averaging 26.1 points per game, but is shooting .427% from
the field and .339% from three-point range. He is also averaging 20.1
shots per game, third in the league, only behind Kobe Bryant and Monte
Ellis. Carmelo needs to improve his shot selection, but, without a
point guard that knows how to get him the ball where he wants it, he
is forced to go one-on-one far too often.

After having a tremendous first season with the Knicks, Amar’e
Stoudemire is struggling at the beginning of the season. He is
averaging 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, numbers he hasn’t
averaged in a full season since his rookie year in the 2002-2003
season. Even worse, Stoudemire is shooting a career-low 42% from the
field on the season thus far, which is unlike the talented power

Simply put, Toney Douglas has failed in his role as the Knicks
starting point guard, so much so, that a rookie with only two
preseason games of experience, Iman Shumpert, has taken the role from
Douglas, who is shooting a dreadful .331 from the field on the season,
including .236 from three-point range. Douglas is averaging more
shots, 11.2, on the season than points, 9.5.

One of the few bright spots on the Knicks is the aforementioned
Shumpert, who was impressive from the beginning of training camp.
Shumpert is averaging 11.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and a
team-high 2.3 steals per game, good for third in the NBA. With only
nine professional games under his belt, Shumpert may already be the
team’s best perimeter defender.

At 6-7, the Knicks are not where I, or many others for that matter,
thought they would be. With 53 games remaining in the season, and
with Baron Davis close to returning (Mike D’Antoni said at a press
conference before Monday’s game that he could be cleared for contact
by the end of this week, and on the court at the earliest next week),
this team, if healthy, has no where to go but up. Perhaps expecting
the team to overachieve is unrealistic, but the disappointment of
their underachieving play has to stop before the criticism of everyone
on the team grows.


  1. brief22

    January 18, 2012 at 3:57 am

    The Knicks have the talent on the offensive end, but until they figure it out on the defensive end, there’s no good news in NY.

  2. CMR

    January 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    The backcourt is pathetic. Shumpert is the best guard we have and he is a rookie, who is caught between being a shooting guard and a point guard, and is being asked to run the offense.. Bibby has been playing since the Nixon administration. Fields looks confused and lost, and Douglas is about as erratic as they come. I think this is the main reason the Knicks have struggled

  3. ms.N0Ni

    January 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    all around, Knicks need a good clean up. They defense is horrible. Yes Chandler & Amar’e are beasting on the rebounds, but on offense, most of the games i see, Amar’e looks like he’s really tired. There is no enthusiasm coming from the Knicks, or the Knicks bench. It’s like the fun of the game is lost. &it seems like the losing games really put a dent in their athletic prowess. What more can Mike D do? He’s been there for how long? With how many different starting players already? When & if Baron does finally get in the game, how much of an impact can he be? If the Knicks get no help on Offense or defense & start playing together like a well coordinated team, Baron Davis, & Bibby’s three point ability is really No help… unless we’re playing teams like the Wizards. The talent is there, yes, but an all around well playing team is not. & isn’t that where the coaching staff is suppose to come in? I’ve been a Knicks fan since I was 5… so you grow up seeing the Knicks dominate well playing teams like the spurs & Lakers, easily… to them being dominated by young teams like OKC, & the 76ers… it’s like what is going on? Haven’t given up on the knicks, I just feel the coaching staff have given up on the Knicks. It shows. Sadly. Looking forward to seeing better game.

  4. Nicole S. Collins

    January 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    They need better direction. I think they have the pieces of the puzzle but its up to the coach to put them together and solve it. They are underachieving because it seems like the strategy is to score as many points as you can instead of working with the team to score, defend and keep the offense going.

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