The New York Knicks are in big trouble heading into the All Star Break.
What could have been a great victory heading into a break, a win over the crosstown rival Brooklyn Nets, ended in blowing a 28 point lead and a loss to the James Harden-less Nets.
This is the team’s third blown loss like that in a month, something that’s not a recipe to long-term success. There’s a lot of blame being thrown around, and a lot of it has landed on coach Tom Thibodeau for his rotations and reliance on veterans instead of the younger players. The players are also catching heat as well, and some of them are even defending their play on social media.
One prominent NBA analyst has had enough of these Knicks and went off on the team following their collapse against Brooklyn. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, a huge Knicks fan himself, went on another of his iconic rants, just railing against the team on the set of NBA Countdown.
Stephen A. Goes Off
Smith is known for his rants on various teams such as the Knicks and the Cowboys, but this one could go down as one of his all-time best.
“The New York Knicks are a national disgrace, ladies and gentlemen,” he begins. “They’re horrible. Thibs, we’re hearing that the New York Knicks as an organization ain’t too fond of him these days. He might be out. I don’t give a damn if he was gone tonight.”
This news comes for SNY’s Ian Begley who says Knicks vice president William Wesley has been placing blame on coach Thibodeau behind the scenes and letting team owner James Dolan know about it.
“Julius Randle, I’m done with him,” Smith continues. “Leon Rose, I mean we got inmates in state penitentiaries more visible than this man. He’s the president of basketball operations. We can’t find this man. They are trash! Horrible!”
Where Do They Go Now?
The week break has come at a great time because the Knicks have to do some soul searching if they want to salvage anything out of this season.
As it stands right now, it might be worth giving the younger players more minutes, such as Obi Toppin and Quentin Grimes. Grimes has been playing a lot more and even starting, so it’s clear things are trending in the right direction for him.
Somebody else the fans have been dying to see is Miles McBride. The rookie has been scorching the G-League competition, but he hasn’t gotten the same chance to show what he can do against the NBA. Eventually, the Knicks are going to want to see what they have, and the only way they can do that is by playing him.
There’s still a lot of season left, but the team could arguably be better spent developing the young talent instead of playing players like Taj Gibson 30 minutes per game. The Knicks have another young center in Jericho Sims that could be a building block of the future.