Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
A truly honest assessment of the one thing killing the New York Knicks requires almost no research. James Dolan is incinerating them, burning the Knicks to the ground with every bizarre trade and nonsensical hire.
But there's no statistic for awful ownership.
Instead, let's focus on another woeful shortcoming in New York: the team's total inability to get good looks when it matters most.
Per NBA.com, the Knicks have the lowest field-goal percentage in close-and-late situations of any team in the league. When the game is within five or fewer points and there are fewer than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Knicks can't hit water from a boat.
At 30.3 percent, no team suffers more in the clutch than New York.
Anyone who's watched the Knicks knows why, too. An offense that looks clunky to begin with devolves into a never-ending series of isolation plays down the stretch. It happens like clockwork. Defenses know they can load up on the ball-handler (usually Carmelo Anthony) with little concern for cutters or spot-up shooters, which makes getting quality looks all but impossible.
Sports Illustrated's Rob Mahoney gave a damning account of the Knicks' nail-biting 83-78 win over the Chicago Bulls on Dec. 10:
What began with a few stops gave way to Knicks panic, which predictably led to a series of ill-fated, uninspired isolation attempts for Carmelo Anthony in lieu of the offense that built the lead in the first place. To be fair, Melo only took what he was served; the greater problem was New York’s refusal to incorporate any kind of variety into those simplest of sets.
There's no credible way to argue that if the Knicks rectify this problem with better ball movement, less selfish play and maybe a few drawn-up sets once in a while, they'll suddenly be a good team. They've got plenty of other issues that stand between them and respectable basketball.
But a little less iso-ball at the end of games can only help.