The New York Knicks are 1-7 on the season and sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Again. Last season they only won 17 games which were the fewest in the NBA. 17 wins looks like an impossible task this year.
The losses are frustrating.
Struggling teams are seeing Knicks jerseys and having career nights on the floor against that atrocious defense. Young players ride the bench while Bobby Portis and Wayne Ellington get all the minutes.
Head coach, David Fizdale, can’t inspire these guys to put any effort in after the first possession that ends with a contested mid-range jumper that Julius Randle clanks off the backboard before walking back on defense while the other team grabs the defensive rebound and sprints down the floor for an easy transition bucket.
The only upside to this season is that first round draft pick, RJ Barrett, appears to be acclimating to the NBA well as he currently leads the team in scoring.
Problem is, Fizdale won’t sit the kid down and he’s 4th in the NBA in minutes per game. He’s never played in this highly physical league before and the Knicks are treating this teenager like a vet who has an established daily routine to get through an 82 game season. He isn’t and he doesn’t. Again, he’s a teenager.
Here’s Jizzdale talking about playing RJ Barrett 5,000 minutes a night:
Ah yes, Latrell Sprewell. First ballow Hall of Famer and winner of…was it 5 or 6 championships? What’s that? He never won a title? And isn’t a Hall of Famer??
Pro Tip: don’t abuse your player and then compare him to a former NBA guy who is most famous for CHOKING OUT HIS HEAD COACH.
And if you’re reading this RJ *whispers* do it.
Everything about this season is dumb.
BUT. But what if I told you the solution is on its way?…
Enter Cole Anthony.
Now, before we all get too into Cole Anthony setting rookie records, let’s remember he’s breaking Rashad McCants record from 2002.
Rashad McCants who blames banging Khloe Kardashian for his failed NBA career. James Harden humped her and won an MVP award so, ya know, she’s real hit or miss.
Might win a scoring title. Might smoke crack. Shrug.gif.
Anyway, Cole Anthony was the No. 4 ranked high school recruit in the country before agreeing to play at North Carolina this year and after one game, he’s proving that he miiiight just be the best player in the country.
North Carolina was down 44-41 in the second half of their first game of the season on Wednesday night.
Not a problem.
Cole Anthony went on a one-man scoring run, putting in seven straight points in under 80 seconds to give UNC a two-point lead over Notre Dame.
It’s not speculation to predict that the Knicks will have a top lottery pick this season. It doesn’t matter that the NBA changed the lottery odds. The Knicks are bad and are guaranteed a Top 5 pick.
So fuck this season. Let’s talk about 2020-2021 and the big question on everyone’s mind: Can Cole Anthony and RJ Barrett co-exist?
Neither player is a finished project. They’re not even old enough to rent cars.
The ceiling for RJ looks more set, however.
He’s a DeMar DeRozan-esque slasher who can get to the rim and chuck up midrange shots but he’ll never be looked at as a sharpshooter from the perimeter and as much as Fizdale attempts to transform him into a point guard, Barrett’s talent is wasted in the role of playmaker.
Cole Anthony, on the other hand, looks like he’s capable of anything. Sure, I’ve only watched Anthony play approximately one (1) game of basketball, the eye test doesn’t lie.
I mean, the eye test lies all the time but it’s not lying right now.
His ability to shoot the 3 ball alone makes him astronomically better than a majority of the players currently on the Knicks payroll. No doubt in my mind he can play off the ball and work with RJ driving and dishing to him sitting on the perimeter ready to splash from behind the arc.
So activate tank mode.
Zion Williamson was fun or whatever but he’s 600 pounds and his knees are made of sheetrock. He’ll have a cute little five year career but it’s all about Cole Anthony.
But if Dave Fizdale is still the head coach then none of this will matter because Anthony will have to ‘earn’ his minutes over Marcus Morris.