As the losses have piled up, the New York Knicks are on the verge of disaster.
Owners of the NBA's third-worst record (3-11) and tied for the fourth-worst net rating (minus-6.8 points per 100 possessions), the Knicks are hoping an impromptu team powwow can cure all of their woes.
Unlike the players-only meeting New York held in early November, the latest airing of grievances included both the players and coaches.
Held after the team's 93-80 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 27, as reported by ESPN's Arash Markazi, the message inside Staples Center's visitors' locker room was simple—this adversity cannot break apart the team.
"The easiest thing for us to do is just to crumble right now, Carmelo Anthony said. "We are in a dark place but we have to get out of this."
That dark place has included plenty of lowlights, but none has been more crushing than New York's current seven-game skid. The Knicks haven't won back-to-back games all season, and their last notch in the victory column came on Nov. 13.
"Right now the game is not fun for nobody," Anthony said. "We're just not making it happen."
The Knicks can't score (98.2 offensive rating, 24th) nor hold opposing teams off the scoreboard (105.0 defensive rating). J.R. Smith said he was "panicking" three losses ago, per ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk.
But one player, Metta World Peace, said he's not sounding any alarm sirens just yet.
"We're not struggling," he said, via Markazi. "It's part of life. You know how life is. We had a bad hair day, you know?"
Then again, World Peace isn't exactly the most reliable measuring stick. Judging by his other comments, it's hard to say if he even knows what's happening:
I honestly didn't even know who the coach was when I was coming to New York. I just wanted to win a championship; I didn't even know who was coaching. I didn't care. It could have been Aunt Jemima. They could have had the syrup coaching. I was coming here regardless.
Brett Pollakoff of NBC Sports cautions that things may get worse before they get any better, writing, "There are plenty of things the Knicks need to clean up, and lengthy postgame meetings are usually a sign of some deeper-seeded problems."
If there's any silver lining here, it's the fact that the Eastern Conference has been so awful that New York's rocky start has hardly burst its playoff bubble. The Knicks are only three games back of the division-leading 6-8 Toronto Raptors.
Of course, some wins will eventually need to come to close that gap. And last time I checked, games aren't won inside closed-door meetings.
Statistics used courtesy of NBA.com.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!