Deplorable and laughable may not begin to describe the state of the New York Knicks just 16 games into this compressed NBA season.
Having lost six straight games, the Knicks continue to slide. The squad appears lethargic and clueless in a Mike D'Antoni system that might just be too up-tempo and fast-paced for five guys playing at any given time to collectively jell.
As a result, an every-man-for-himself mentality has pervaded, but has clearly backfired, even with proven scorers such as forwards Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. Anthony, despite being fourth in the NBA in scoring average, continues to force too many shots, while Stoudemire continues to not take enough, especially in the paint where he has been a force his whole career.
The Knicks may be slipping so much that management should seriously consider trading for Dwight Howard (C) to get them over the hump. (Reuters/Ray Stubblebine)
Though center Tyson Chandler was not expected to be a main scoring option, he is expected to be the shot-blocking and rebounding defensive anchor to arguably the most talented frontline in the game. Statistically speaking, Chandler has been that type of player. Last season with the Dallas Mavericks, he averaged 9.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots a game. With the Knicks this year, he has done better -- averaging 9.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.
There's no question then that Chandler is doing his part. But when you consider the state of the Knicks, who have shot just 41 percent from the field so far, could Chandler be an expendable piece for another center, specifically one averaging 13 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots a game?
A point guard is a top priority, but obtiaining a new floor leader is not critical. Baron Davis probably deserves a chance to showcase his skills once he returns from his back injury.
Meanwhile, the Knicks may consider exploring a package deal of Stoudemire and Chandler for Orlando's Dwight Howard, who has been the prime subject of trade rumors this season.
Howard, who shoots about 58 percent from the floor, would not only make an already solid defense better, but he would also become the consistent offensive, low-post threat that the Knicks have lacked. Stoudemire, who was brought on to do just that, has only done that to a degree now, especially since Anthony's arrival during last season.
The Knicks may need to offer Orlando more than just Stoudemire and Chandler. The Magic would like to get younger, so the Knicks may need to offer draft picks, or a bench player.
Anthony and Howard would likely play well together, as Anthony would have room to create room to penetrate and creat outside shots, while Howard would have a legitimate scorer to play alongside.
Howard is a free agent, and would almost certainly sign with the Knicks. He has shown an interest in playing in either a big market or for a contender, and the Knicks might be both.
Orlando doesn't want to lose Howard for nothing, and the Knicks might have the best trade bait available.