Top 5 People To Blame For New York Knicks’ 2013-14 Season
5 People To Blame For New York Knicks' 2013-14 Season
The New York Knicks' 2013-14 season has been a pure mess. Just one season removed from a 54-win season and a trip to the second round of the NBA Playoffs, the Knicks currently stand at 21-36, 5.5 games of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference with just 25 games left. The season has been filled with disappointment after disappointment and embarrassing moments. This all comes at the expense of one of Carmelo Anthony’s best seasons.
In the final season of his contract as he heads to free agency this summer, Anthony is averaging 28.2 points per game and 8.6 rebounds while shooting 45.4 percent from the field to go with 42.6 percent from three-point range and 84 percent from the free-throw line. Anthony could bolt this summer without the Knicks getting anything in return. Their best possibility of keeping Anthony is due to the fact that the Knicks can offer him one more year and more money than any other team can offer him.
Anthony has missed just three games and has been the only Knicks player that has played hard night-in and night-out on a constant basis. The team has been dealt with a ton of injuries to Raymond Felton, Andrea Bargnani and Tyson Chandler, among many others. Team chemistry and effort has not been nearly as high as it has needed to be.
For the first time in his career, Anthony will likely miss the playoffs. Through trades in recent years, the Knicks have also given up multiple draft picks. They have no draft picks this season in what is a highly regarded NBA Draft.
The Knicks' season has been just awful. Their future looks bleak, as it will take some shrewd moves this offseason to improve the franchise's outlook.
Here are the top five people to blame for the Knicks' 2013-14 season.
5. Iman Shumpert
On April 28, 2012, Iman Shumpert suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee. He came back last January, but struggled to regain his form.
During the summer of 2013, Shumpert also underwent a secret knee surgery. This season, Shumpert has struggled yet again. He is putting up just 6.9 points per contest and hitting just 37.7 percent of his shots. Shumpert has attempted 342 field goals this season and exactly half of those attempts have been from long distance. He is shooting 34.5 percent from three-point range this season.
Now, he is out for a couple of weeks due to a sprained MCL.
When he does get back, Shumpert could be much more effective if he attacks the basket and focuses more on defense again. Too often it seems as though he tries to beat his man one-on-one with the long ball instead of playing within the team concept.
4. J.R. Smith
After winning the Sixth Man of the Year award last season, J.R. Smith signed a three-year, $18 million dollar contract. Now, Smith is enduring a terrible season.
He is averaging 12.9 points per game, down from last year’s average of 18.1. He is shooting just 38.7 percent from the field. After attempting 3.9 free-throws per game last season, Smith is getting just two free-throws this season. He is also only shooting 60.6 percent from the line.
His decision making has always been questionable but improved last season. Now, Smith is back to his old antics of shooting from wherever he wants while being less aggressive in attacking the basket.
Smith is a much better player when he drives the basket as he did last year, and he needs to get back to playing that style.
3. Mike Woodson
Mike Woodson’s coaching has been highly questionable this season. He was even called out by Chandler. He has not gotten through to his players on them playing hard every night and as a team. When the Knicks were successful on offense last year, it was due to the team’s ball movement and three-point shooting. New York was tough to beat when they moved the ball, but that has not been the case for this season.
Often times, the Knicks' offense ends up in an isolation for Anthony. Anthony has definitely played hard and the ball has not stuck to him as much on the rare occasion that any of his teammates have played well offensively. But when his teammates have went cold, it has been all about Anthony on offense. Woodson has not adjusted his offense to get his other players better attempts. He also has not gotten his other players playing smart basketball on the offensive side.
The Knicks' defense has slipped as the offense has become less efficient. After giving up a stout 95.7 points per contest last season, the Knicks are giving up 99.8 this season.
Another problem for Woodson is his stubbornness for having his players switch on all screens. Too often, opponents end up with miss matches that they beat with ease.
2. Raymond Felton
This has been a season to forget for Raymond Felton. He has missed 16 games due to injury this season. When on the court, Felton has struggled mightily. He is averaging just 10.4 points while shooting 40.3 percent from the field, 29.6 percent from three-point range, and 70.6 percent from the free-throw line.
It has always been a question of how in shape Felton is prior to the start of a season.
Now, you can add in his recent arrest.
Felton will play until the legal process plays itself out. The NBA will not suspend him, nor will the Knicks, as he is innocent until proven guilty.
His focus will need to be on the basketball court if he hopes to salvage this otherwise lost season. Felton will need to regain his confidence and shooting touch.
1. James Dolan
The top person to blame for the Knicks' nightmarish season is James Dolan. Dolan is the primary manager of the Knicks and has made many questionable decisions since 1999.
As far as this season goes, he inexplicably fired Glen Grunwald as the hgeneral manager, who assembled last year’s 54-win team, did not make any trades to significantly improve the talent around Anthony or to find a way to get a draft pick this year, and held onto Woodson despite the team performing severely below expectations.
It’s not that Woodson had to be fired, but for a team that does not have many draft picks in the next few years and hopes to bring Anthony back this offseason, you would think that they would try to make a major move to improve the team’s outlook in the immediate future. That did not happen.
Now, they are running the risk of Anthony in the offseason without anything in return. If Anthony does return, he may eat up too much of the cap space for the Knicks to be able to make any significant moves to improve the team. With how the team has underperformed as a whole, there are few teams that will be willing to trade for any of the other Knicks players.
This season has been a disaster, and the Knicks future looks extremely cloudy. The man to mostly blame for that is the one making most of the decisions.