There isn't much you can say for certain about the New York Knicks. The offense is supposed to be their strength, but it's been mediocre at best this season. The defense has had stretches where it's looked dominant, but hasn't been able to stop the better teams in the league. But one thing you can say for certain: The Knicks are not a good basketball team right now.
New York led for most of the game, but fell to the Magic 102-93. As I predicted yesterday, the Knicks' offensive struggles prevented them from pulling off a victory. They were unable to make a field goal in the final three and a half minutes of the game. Carmelo Anthony played in spite of a bum ankle and a sprained wrist. He struggled with his shot, finishing just 9-27 from the field. As Melo struggled down the stretch, so did the Knicks.
When Anthony has a tough time scoring, so do the Knicks. It's as simple as that. New York's offense has been reduced to a one-on-one style of play that has the Knicks struggling to score points. The Knicks' offense has become a stagnant unit that relies on one player to score points. That's not a recipe for success in the NBA.
New York's lack of a legitimate point guard has been its biggest problem. Three different players have started at the point for the Knicks this year and none of them have been what the Knicks had hoped. Toney Douglas is a serviceable backup, but can't start on a winning NBA team. Iman Shumpert has been a pleasant surprise as a rookie, but isn't ready to run an offense.
The Knicks could also use another outside shooter. They're 24th in 3-point field goal percentage, but near the top of the league in attempts. If the Knicks plan to continue firing shots from beyond the arc at this pace (and knowing Mike D'Antoni, they do), they'll need some players who can shoot.
The Knicks lack an identity. Are they the offensive juggernaut that we've come to expect from Mike D'Antoni teams? Are they a hard-nosed group with a new commitment to defense? So far they've shown to be neither. They've only played 13 games, but it's a shortened season, and it's getting late early.