New York Knicks Must Move Past The Brutal Month Of January

Jan 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts after missing a shot at the final buzzer against the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden. Phoenix Suns won 107-105. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts after missing a shot at the final buzzer against the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden. Phoenix Suns won 107-105. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /

As the New York Knicks look ahead to February in hopes of finding more consistency, it’s time to move on from the brutal month of January.

January is finally over.

With their loss at the Washington Wizards on Jan. 31, the Knicks finished the month of January with a record of 5-12. Overall, the Knicks are 21-29, still just 2.5 games back of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

In the words of Carmelo Anthony, “Goodbye January.”

Before diving into February, it’s important to recap the roller-coaster month of January.

January 4

The Knicks hosted the Milwaukee Bucks at MSG. Despite playing a strong game on both ends of the floor, the Knicks lost on a buzzer-beater by Giannis Antetokounmpo.

This game winning shot was the beginning of a slew of close losses for the Knicks.

January 9

The Knicks hosted the New Orleans Pelicans at MSG. About 45 minutes before tipoff, head coach Jeff Hornacek announced that Derrick Rose wouldn’t be playing.

However, it wasn’t injury related. Rose went AWOL and didn’t tell any Knicks officials about his whereabouts until after the game was over.

January 10

Rose returned to the Knicks’ facility after reportedly boarding a flight to Chicago to spend time with his family. Upon his return, Rose was fined, but not suspended for missing the game.

January 11

The Knicks brought their talents (and Rose) to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers. Despite leading for most of the game, the Knicks suffered another devastating buzzer-beater loss at the hands of TJ McConnell. Yes, that TJ McConnell.

At this point, the Knicks were 1-5 to start January.

January 12

Phil Jackson’s longtime friend, Charley Rosen, wrote an article about the Knicks’ struggles.

Within the article, Rosen said Anthony has “outlived his usefulness in New York.”

Although it’s pure speculation, many believed that Rosen was articulating Jackson’s thoughts throughout the article, leading to the rift between Jackson and Anthony that we are seeing today.

January 16

The Knicks hosted the Atlanta Hawks on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Madison Square Garden. With Dwight Howard sitting, the Hawks still managed to beat the Knicks, on a game-winning three-point field goal from Dennis Schroder.

The Knicks were up by two points and somehow gave up a three to lose it.

January 17

The Rosen article became mainstream news and led to a sit-down between Jackson and Anthony.

Anthony told Jackson he wanted to stay in New York, and had no intention of waiving his clause.

January 19

Coming off a big road victory over the Boston Celtics the night before, the Knicks hosted the red-hot Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden.

Another close game, another heart-breaking loss.

However, the Knicks were still down three points.

On the next possession, Anthony made the pass to an open Courtney Lee, who passed up the shot because he thought the Wizards were sending help.

Turns out, it was Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe, who was standing on the court.

Unfortunately, no call was made, and the Knicks suffered another loss.

January 21

Immediately following the loss against the Wizards, the Knicks looked to redeem themselves against the subpar Phoenix Suns.

As New York headed into the final minutes of the game, it collapsed—again.

Devin Booker nailed a game-winning three-point field goal to put the Suns up two.

With the game on the line, Anthony took a potentially game-winning three-point field goal of his own.

In and out. The Knicks lost yet another close game.

January 25

The trade rumors became a reality.

The Knicks reached out the Cleveland Cavaliers looking to swap Anthony for Kevin Love.

The Cavaliers declined the offer.

January 27

After getting shot down by both the Cavaliers and the Celtics, the Knicks found a potential trade suitor for Anthony: the Los Angeles Clippers.

However, Jackson’s reluctancy to take on Jamal Crawford’s contract in a trade led to the Knicks and Clippers seeking a third team to complete this trade.

Later that night, the Knicks hosted the Charlotte Hornets at MSG looking for a much needed victory. With the trade rumors in full swing, Anthony shut down the outside noise.

Anthony was booed for a large portion of the game.

Anthony temporarily silenced some doubters with that clutch shot.

January 29

The thriller in Atlanta. A quadruple-overtime game where Anthony did everything humanly possible to win.

In 46 minutes, Anthony had 45 points, including clutch shots that sent the game to overtime and double overtime.

Despite the foul, Anthony finished at the rim and sent the game into overtime, where he hit another clutch shot to send the game into double overtime. Unfortunately, Anthony eventually fouled out.

As Anthony stepped off, Courtney Lee stepped up.

Even with the best of efforts, the Knicks suffered the toughest loss of the season.

January 30

Former Knicks head coach Derek Fisher rips Jackson and Hornacek in an exclusive interview with Bleacher Report.

Fisher believed that Jackson pulled the trigger too early on his tenure in New York, and his off-the-court activities shouldn’t have been a factor into that decision.

January 31

The Knicks were without the services of Rose and Kristaps Porzingis, and as a result, suffered another loss at the hands of John Wall. Thankfully, the Knicks finally put an end to January.

February 1

Will February be any better? Impossible to know. However, what we do know is that it can’t get much worse than January.

The trade deadline is on February 23 and the Knicks play in the upcoming days will determine if Anthony remains a Knick or is traded to a contender.

Although the Knicks just came off one of the worst months humanly possible, they are still just 2.5 games back of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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We will see the true character of this team in the new few games.

They are not only playing for a playoff berth, but for the future of Anthony.

If the Knicks can rally around him, they will not only extend his tenure in New York, but potentially make a playoff appearance despite being eight games under .500 at the start of February.

The Knicks couldn’t ask for a better start to February.

Tonight, they face off against the 9-39 Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.

Assuming Porzingis’ illness is now better treated, there is absolutely no reason that the Knicks shouldn’t come out of Brooklyn with a win.

Actually, they don’t have another choice, considering they host the Cavaliers on Saturday night.

The Knicks need to shut out the distractions from the outside and dig deep on the inside.

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The time to win is now.