Rookie coach Derek Fisher is using scripture to ensure the New York Knicks can see a forest of future success through the trees of their current struggles. If you’re to believe president Phil Jackson, his team will stay blind unless it improves its attitude. Speaking with reporters on Monday following New York’s eighth consecutive loss, Jackson said the Knicks “have a loser’s mentality.”
The following tweet certainly lends credence to Jackson’s assessment. What says “loser’s mentality” more than a complete inability to win close games?
New York has played 14 games this season in which the score has been within five points during the final five minutes. After Sunday’s 103-99 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Knicks are an almost impossibly bad 1-13 in those contests. They have a 85.4 offensive rating in the last minutes of tight games and 110.9 defensive rating – each number is among basketball’s worst three marks.
Carmelo Anthony understands just how bad things are for New York. From Ian Begley:
“It’s a tough situation right now,” Carmelo Anthony said after the Knicks’ loss to the Portland Trailblazers. “I’ve never been in a situation like this.”
Jackson hasn’t, either. Unfortunately for the 13-time champion, though, there’s not much he can due to change things sitting in the stands. And while he’s in constant contact with Fisher and the coaching staff, Jackson says he hasn’t talked to the team at large in some time:
Perhaps now is when Jackson should wield his power. If anyone can help the Knicks recover from this uniquely depressing nadir through inspiration, one would think it’s the Zen Master.
*Statistical support for this post provided by nba.com/stats.
What do you think?
Follow Jack on Twitter at @ArmstrongWinter.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.