Editor's Note: All responses were written prior to the Knick's Tuesday night thrashing of the Bobcats.
Is the Knicks slump a temporary dip in form or a permanent condition?
Jacob Greenberg: My friends, behold your New York Knicks. What you see with this team is what you get, what you're gonna get, and most importantly, what you got once James Dolan decided to bail on former GM Donnie Walsh's plan, and gut his team of all of their promising young assets, including three starters. Simply put: the Melo trade cost far too much. No one wants to talk about it, but this team's struggles aren't as much about the acquisition of Melo, but rather, the losses of Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danillo Gallinari, and to a much lesser extent, Timofey Mozgov. Though reports at the time sold the trade as completely Walsh's call, giving away all of your assets, all of whom were playing well in the system designed by the high profile coach you went out on a limb to hire just doesn't seem like a Donnie Walsh move.
Long Bui: They’ll probably make the playoffs but it’s clear that the iso Melo offense doesn’t work. While, one swallow doesn’t make a summer (any Downton Abbey fans?), I watched this past weekend’s game against the Nuggets and saw Carmelo lay brick after brick while Amare literally stood off in the corner watching it all transpire. Not doing a damn thing. This is your $100 million dollar man!! I guess the media pundits were right when they questioned the Melo, ‘Mare pairing. Also, when your third best all around player says that he “shrank” as a result of your franchise player’s arrival, there’s probably no hope. So I’ll say permanent.
Andrew Snyder: Somewhere in the middle. This current Knicks team should certainly make the playoffs on talent alone, but as everyone here at The Diss knows (or just me), Ubuntu wins championships. Instead of focusing on building team first schemes on offense and defense to utilize their multiple all-stars, the New York Post reports the Knicks have been squabbling over shots:
"According to a source familiar with the situation, Anthony has been too obsessed with his points and Stoudemire is too concerned with Anthony taking over the team. There’s also too much finger-pointing, according to the source."
The Knicks have a 4 game road trip coming up, so maybe after Amare and Carmelo have their "heart-to-heart" sprawled out on a couple of queen beds in the Charlotte Hilton, things will start to turn around. Maybe they wont, you can't teach Ubuntu.
Franklin Mieuli: Permanent condition. With two black holes whose games are not complimentary, and having gutted the supporting cast to get one of those black holes, I don't see much hope for dramatic improvement. I mean, I like Iman Shumpert as much as the next guy, but I don't think the Knicks are "figuring it out" or "gelling", they're just a mediocre basketball team.
Do the Knicks need to be "fixed"? If so, how would you fix them? If not, why not?
Jacob Greenberg: The fix that the Knicks need -- a new owner who knows what he's doing -- is not going to happen. Donnie Walsh isn't going to be walking through that door anytime soon, and despite some recent wishful thinking, Steve Nash won't be doing the same thing, either. So two possibilities seem compelling, but only one really seems likely.
The likely scenario-the firing of Mike D'Antoni-will be the act that quiets the angry mob massing around Madison Square Garden. But changing coaches simply won't be enough. Any reasonably informed basketball fan can see that Melo and Amar'e are not a tandem that will win anything together (unless), as they are both forwards who need space to work alone in the post. An offense like D'Antoni's which relies on quick ball movement and a lot of movement off screens, is a poor fit for those two together. A recent report links Dwight Howard to Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire. If there was a way to make that happen -- and maybe grab Patrick Ewing, an Orlando assistant, to become the Head Coach, or at the very least, the lead assistant -- I think the Knicks would look more like the Knicks, and less like a crappy version of the 7-Seconds-or-Less Suns with wildly misplaced personnel.
Long Bui: You’re probably going to want to start by getting a PG. There’s a reason that every single team has a one, and I hope Baron is the answer. Also, your franchise player probably should make other players better, and to do that you’ll need time to practice together outside a game to really figure it out. If you want to jump ship you can trade Amare/ Melo, but that’s kind of hard. Instead, let’s fire Mike, I mean he understands why, and that’s not a good thing. If you were really the mastermind behind SSOL, you’ve either fallen really far or completely packed it in. In either case, see you later. Standing around with this face for 48 minutes does not constitute coaching.
Andrew Snyder: Yes. Fire D'Antoni, or better yet trade him straight up to a team that stylistically matches D'Antoni-ball, like The Diss' soup du jour, the Golden State Warriors. Since Jacob Greenberg and this "Franklin Mieuli" character don't seem to want Steph Curry anyways, perhaps a D'Antoni-Curry deal is the solution to everyone's problems.
Franklin Mieuli: Yes, they need to be fixed, but I don't think there is much to do about it other than hope. Hope that Carmelo stops shooting as much. Hope that they're getting Baron Davis 06-07, not 09-10. Hope that Landry Fields takes another big step in year 2.
The one deal that could work is moving Amar'e. While they couldn't get a haul in return, they could get something (David Lee and cap filler? Ben Gordon and cap filler? Jose Calderon and something? I'm struggling with the trade machine) while leaving Melo free to jack it up, and possibly transitioning into a decent defensive team.