The Charlotte Bobcats might have improved their roster this summer, but losing to them is still apparently a cause for panic.
Following three straight defeats—the last of which was a five-point home loss to the Bobcats—the New York Knicks reportedly came together for a players-only meeting in an attempt to right the ship.
We shut the door after the game and talked it out a little bit and tried to figure out what was happening. We've got to want it, we've got to want to do it. We've got to believe in ourselves, and right now we're playing like we don't even believe in ourselves. It's just effort.
Effort might be part of the problem, but a lack of available talent could be even more damning.
J.R. Smith has yet to make his 2013-14 debut while serving a five-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy. Tyson Chandler, the 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year, is now on the shelf for four to six weeks with a fracture in his right leg.
Anthony, the league's reigning scoring champ, has been reduced to being a volume scorer (.371/.300/.885 shooting slash). Knicks newcomer Andrea Bargnani heard a chorus of boos less than one game into his tenure with the team.
Disaster doesn't begin to describe what's going on with these Knicks. Even the dance team has been shut down, per orders from team owner James Dolan.
"Nobody is happy right now," point guard Raymond Felton said during an appearance on ESPN Radio New York, via Begley. "We weren't expecting to be 1-3."
That's one way of putting it. Not only did this team not expect to be on the wrong side of the scoreboard in three of their first four games, but Dolan reportedly tossed out a championship-or-bust edict before the season started.
Several would-be contenders have had rough starts, but none have been quite as brutal as New York:
Damn, really thought Grizzlies were a lock for first players' only meeting. Knicks under the wire. Congrats if you had them in the pool.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) November 8, 2013
Will this players' pow-wow be enough? Anthony told Begley he certainly hopes so:
You cannot turn the ball over if you want to be a good team in this league. Hopefully the conversation we had after that game made everybody realize that although it is early there are some things we need to fix and we need to fix now.
Need a silver lining in all of this, Knicks fans? Well, the Bobcats are back on the schedule for a Friday night clash in Charlotte.
Assuming, of course, that's still seen as good news.