When Anthony was acquired just hours after the All-Star Games last season, New Yorkers rejoiced and felt they’d gone from misery to the top of the basketball world. But that wasn’t quite the case as the Knicks struggled right off the bat but managed to sneak into the playoffs only to get swept in four games by the Boston Celtics. After a series of free agent signings and impressive draft choices this off season, expectations for the Knicks were kicked into a higher gear. They escaped the season opener in late December in a rematch win against the Celtics at the Garden, then went on the road and lost four out of five games. January wasn’t much better as the Knicks fan base saw the team lose six straight games, at one point capped off by double overtime home loss to the Denver Nuggets. The Knicks struggles had put head coach Mike D’Antoni’s job on the line and left the team searching for answers.
February, which was also dubbed “Linsanity” month, seemed to bring new life to Madison Square Garden as backup point guard Jeremy Lin put on a three-week show to single handedly dig the Knicks out of their season long suffering. His performance helped the Knicks beat some of the NBA’s best including the Lakers, Hawks, and even the defending champion Mavericks on national TV. His unbelievable skills even put him on the cover of the Sports Illustrated for two consecutive weeks and put the Knicks over the .500 mark. But once Carmelo Anthony returned from a groin injury, he didn’t seem to fit well in the same rotation as Lin and the Knicks started to struggle again. The Knicks went into the break with a tough loss in Miami, but began the second half with an impressive win in Cleveland. Then it was on to six straight tough defeats to put the Knicks six games below the .500 mark and setting off many rumors again.
With the trade deadline just days away and the team needing life support, Knicks management and ownership know they must make some quick decisions to save the season. Decisions like: should Mike D’Antoni be fired? Should the Knicks field trade offers for Carmelo Anthony after acquiring him in a major deal one year ago? Is Jeremy Lin a long term solution at the point guard position? All in all, it will be a very sleepless and draining week at the Garden and possibly another failed season in New York basketball history.