Slow start shrouds season with doubt for New York.
New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson called his team’s effort “unacceptable” after the 120-89 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, with their disappointing start to the season bringing their title aspirations under the spotlight.
The Knicks dazzled in the regular season last year, with their ball movement and three-point shooting allowing them to enter the play-offs with new found confidence and belief.
While they were ultimately left disappointed following their exit to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference play-off semi-finals, the future looked bright for the franchise given the pieces that they had to build with.
However, somewhere along the way that has all been lost as they have struggled to successfully integrate the new players and cope with the absence of defensive anchor Tyson Chandler through injury.
Their shooting was off and their work on the defensive end was worrying at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon, and the home faithful let the team know exactly what they thought of it.
Granted, the boos will have done little to help the players overcome their nervousness and all-round poor play, but given the standard of basketball on show from the hosts it wasn’t surprising.
Inevitably, if this season turns out to be a failure for the Knicks then questions will continue to rage over the future of Carmelo Anthony.
The 29-year-old has previously revealed that he would like to test free agency but is adamant that he will remain in New York and wants to play a pivotal role in bringing the best players to the franchise.
However, with time running out there will come a point at some stage this year where he must decide whether he has the necessary pieces around him to win an NBA championship and that in turn could result in him deciding on a change of scenery.
There will be options next summer, and with competition in the East growing there will be some early concern over whether or not the Knicks’ franchise player will be around next season.
Aside from the Indiana Pacers, several of the top teams in the East have struggled so far and there have only been around six or seven games played for most.
As a result, it may yet still be too early to be ringing the alarm bells in New York, but coach Woodson and the players will know that an immediate reaction is necessary.