Heading into Wednesday's matchup with the Sacramento Kings, the Knicks are sitting at (a not so pretty) 20-31.
Needless to say, this season has continued to crumble in ways no one could have quite predicted. Last season, with Carmelo Anthony leading the way as of bona-fide M.V.P. candidate, New York carried themselves with a certain level of swagger. They understood the type of mentality necessary to win. The team was an assertive one for forty-eight minutes per game, able to keep their (collective) foot on the neck of their opponent when the time came to keep them down and secure a victory.
This season, that special something in the air appears no longer. New York has struggled to compete against seemingly inferior opponents quite often. Even when they keep the pace for most of a given game, the Knicks appear to have difficulty closing things out. Of course, it's difficult to do that when a team is constantly fighting to come back from behind, which the Knicks are often forced to do. Creating a hole for themselves early on certainly doesn't make it easy for a squad to win ball games.
As the team's struggles continue, one has to wonder if the major problem stems from the players, and/or the coaching staff. Though Anthony continues to carry his team while playing at a high level, his support system is once again lacking. That said, much of that blame can and should be placed on Mike Woodson's shoulders.
Coach Woodson has lost control of Anthony's prime running mate, J.R. Smith, at different points over the course of this season. Before Andrea Bargnani went down with a recent injury, one could also argue that Woodson was failing to get the most offensively out of one of the Knicks' (potentially) more valuable assets. Tyson Chandler has criticized the coach multiple times as well this year, continuing to lose faith in his team's defensive mentality and/or strategy.
And although they play considerably smaller roles to that of the aforementioned former three, the (rumored) trade requests of both Beno Udrih and Metta World Peace undoubtedly play a role in creating ongoing tension in the Knicks' locker room.
Just as heavily as the presence of multiple influential veterans played a role into dictating the way the Knicks' season went last year, the apparent lack of faith perceived by the veterans this season may be weighing New York just as much.
When a coach begins to lose his team's respected veterans in the locker room, it assumedly won't be long until he loses the whole squad.
With that in mind, could Wednesday night's game against the Kings prove to be Coach Woodson's Knickerbocker swan song, should the team lose?
If Woodson's lost the locker room as a whole (even minus his resident superstar Anthony), then it should indeed be his time to go. If Woodson has failed to maintain order in the Big Apple, then there's no use or point in giving him anymore time.
The players don't appear to be behind Woodson. Should that indeed be the case, here's no hope that they'll eventually "figure things out" together with time.