The New York Knicks' inability to win since Carmelo Anthony's return is nearly inexplicable. There of course is the obvious that there are lots of scorers on the court at once, and the defense isn't very strong. While Melo and Jeremy Lin's numbers have gone down recently, that can be attributed to the amount of scorers who demand the ball. Another reason for the decline in wins is that their schedule got tougher, according to Howard Beck of the New York Times, than it was during Linsanity. Short of getting a new coach, the Knicks still have a few trade options open, as the deadline draws closer.
"I'm positive the Knicks have called just in case Dwight changes up."
This is relevant, even though Howard is only interested in the Nets, Lakers and Mavericks, long-term, according to Vecsey. Howard, defensive player of the year for multiple seasons, could help the team where they need it. He's a post scorer, but he's also the best defensive presence in the NBA. Just being a part of the team would help inspire them to play better D. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN reported in late January that the Magic would consider Howard for Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire, but it seems as though this has cooled.
If the Knicks can't get Howard, a move they should consider to help their defense get stronger is to acquire Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks. He's made it known that he wants to leave if the team won't give him what he needs to win it all, according to Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Hawks coach, Larry Drew said:
"People look at the offensive end but defensively he changes the game. He is one of the few players I think that can play a defensive game and impact the game even if his offense is not on that night."
While his shooting isn't the best, his presence around some of the best shooters in the league could help him, as he adds a defensive presence to the Knicks. While there is no public trade in the works, it's an option the Knicks should look at.
The problems the Knicks face with any trade is that their most desirable assets have high contracts, particularly Amar'e Stoudemire who has been less impressive than expected this season averaging 17.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists. He has an uninsured $65 million contract to be paid out over the next three years.
Even if the Knicks can't make a trade before the deadline, all hope is not lost. According to Howard Beck of the New York Times, Melo admitted things are tough to adjust to.
"He flatly admitted that he was having trouble adjusting to an offense in which Lin is the primary ball-handler and playmaker."
So is the Knicks success just a matter of time? It would seem that they have all the pieces to win a championship, but it's getting them to work together on offense and defense that's the problem.