Evan Fournier Says 'I Wish I Had the Answer' to Fix Knicks' Inconsistency ProblemDecember 9, 2021
The New York Knicks lost to the struggling Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, 122-102, dropping them to 12-13 on the season and handing them their fourth loss in the past five games.
After the disappointing result, Evan Fournier was at a loss when asked about how the Knicks could become a more consistent team.
"That's the challenge for us, to find consistency. ... We're all aware of it, we all know what we need to do, and yet we keep being inconsistent," he told reporters. "I don't know, I wish I had the answer. Like I said, you know, it starts individually. How do you approach the game and how do you get yourself ready to play? There's nights where you're gonna miss shots. It's just basketball. But from a focus standpoint, and execution, I think that's the biggest area where we have to get better."
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Evan Fournier spoke at length about the Knicks' inconsistencies this season:<br><br>"We're all aware of it, we know what we need to do, and yet we keep being inconsistent. I don't know, I wish I had the answer" <a href="https://t.co/2ql3IWeONv">pic.twitter.com/2ql3IWeONv</a>
The Knicks started the season well, going 5-1, but are just 7-12 since, and it's been a bizarre year.
The team's premier offseason acquisition, Kemba Walker, has been taken out of the rotation. Julius Randle, who averaged career highs in points (24.1 PPG), rebounds (10.2) and three-point percentage (41.1 percent) has come back to earth, somewhat, averaging 19.9 points and shooting 33.3 percent from three this year. And 2019's third overall pick, RJ Barrett, hasn't taken the next step into stardom in his third year, averaging just 14.8 points per game this season.
Dan Devine @YourManDevine
This isn't good, of course, but in spite of this and Fournier shooting 41% from the floor, the Knicks have been a near-top-10 offense. The problem's the defense: from no. 4 last season to no. 22 this season. There's the ballgame. <a href="https://t.co/UiRi8CsMi5">https://t.co/UiRi8CsMi5</a>
The Knicks had a busy offseason, adding players like Walker, Fournier and re-signing Derrick Rose, Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel. But the result has been a team that feels like a solid collection of players who would provide the perfect foundation for a superstar, rather than a team that is a true contender on its own.
That, of course, leads to the natural question of whether last year's 41-31 squad simply overachieved.
Given that Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks dismissed the Knicks in five games in their first-round matchup last postseason—and given Tom Thibodeau's reputation for overtaxing his players during the regular season by giving them huge minutes, a style of coaching that reportedly wore out its welcome in previous tenures—it isn't completely shocking to see the team regress this year.
Perhaps perfectly emblematic of the gulf between the perception in New York of what the Knicks could be versus the reality of what they actually are was Obi Toppin's between-the-legs dunk in the first half, a brief flash of sizzle in a game the Knicks would go on to lose against a beleaguered Indiana team that has lost five of its past seven coming into Wednesday and already has rumors swirling that it will be a seller ahead of this season's trade deadline:
Perhaps the Knicks will figure it out. But last year's optimism is quickly being replaced by disillusionment in New York. That descent into dread had been a near-yearly inevitability during the James Dolan tenure, with only last season serving as the briefest of respites.