New York Knicks Just Look Different In Slow Start

By Jon Bruno
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks got off to a 6-0 start last season in Mike Woodson‘s first full season with them. They eventually stalled and ended up finishing 2nd in the Eastern Conference. One year later, their team isn’t too much different, but the rest of the NBA is. The Knicks have started 1-3, including a current three-game losing streak. Knicks’ fans are used to their team not meeting expectations and having unbearably inconsistent performances, but 1-3? It’s not a huge deal yet, I supposed, I mean it’s only four games and J.R. Smith hasn’t come back from his five-game suspension yet. But this may just be the Knicks team we’re working with; maybe they’re just overrated. One thing is for sure, they look different.

The biggest and most concerning difference surrounding the Knicks is the turnover situation. The Knicks have struggled with turnovers for as long as I can remember, that is, until last season. They were first in the league in turnovers per game, meaning they had the least out of every team. Through four games this season, however, they’re averaging about 16 turnovers per game, which is around the league average. The difference between their turnovers is that the other team turns them into points – a lot of points. They’ve been pretty bad at defending the fast break as well.

Another gigantic concern is the Knicks relapse into taking an unreasonable amount of three-pointers. Last night they shot 8-28 from downtown after going 9-32 on Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. In their first game it looked like they were going to be different in that category, but then again, they actually looked decent in their first game.

The Knicks are getting killed at the starts of games, too. In all their losses they’ve gotten absolutely destroyed on the scoreboard in the first quarter. It’s like when the tip-off comes they fall asleep for the first quarter and put themselves in a position to play catch-up for the rest of the game. The trend has been that they eventual recover and come back, but ultimately can never overcome their poor starts. In the last three games they’ve been outscored 97-63 in the first quarter, and are outscoring opponents 63-47 in the final quarter. They just don’t look like they’re ready to play at the start of games.

On top of all that there are many individual player issues. Carmelo Anthony is shooting the ball too much and too poorly, A’Mare Stoudemeire had five turnovers in ten minutes last night and now Tyson Chandler may be injured. The bench hasn’t exactly been a spark either, with the exceptions of Pablo Prigioni and Tim Hardaway, Jr.

The Knicks’ 1-3 start is concerning and anxiety provoking, but we know the Knicks. Just like their games this season, they’ll start off slow and work their way back up by the end of the season, only to do nothing in the postseason. If things stay like this, we’ll be trapped in that cycle for this season, as well.

Jon Bruno is an NBA and NFL writer for Rant Sports. Read more of his NBA stories here.

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