New York Knicks fans must temper expectations to find peace

New York Knicks, Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks, Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

This season has not gone the way many New York Knicks fans expected that it would. And, truthfully, it is their own fault.

Many people came into this Knicks season with the idea that the trajectory was straight up for this team after a playoff appearance last year and the offseason acquisitions that seemed to address weaknesses.

The Knicks scorching hot 5-1 start only added to what they had already told themselves. This team was a contender.

New York Knicks: Adjusting expectations

The rest of this season, the Knicks have looked like the 40-win team that Vegas predicted them to be.

Still, nothing hurts quite like being let down. And when in pain of our own making, we look for a scapegoat.

Julius Randle is that scapegoat.

Before you lose your mind, he’s earned (almost) every bit of it. (No one deserves to have people celebrate when they get COVID.)

He has not played to the level he played at last year, and sparring with fans probably wasn’t the smartest idea given the context of the season.

However, he is far from all that ails the New York Knicks.

Here’s the thing about scapegoats: they only work to solve that round of issues. Once you’ve used it, you’ve…losed…it. Lost it. It’s gone. You get what I’m saying.

Knicks fans must be careful what they wish for at the trade deadline.

Sure, a De’Aaron Fox for Randle swap does seem like it addresses some issues on paper, but the trade will only work if Knicks fans come in with fair expectations.

The fact that Fox can even be had via trade means he is far from a sure thing. There’s a lot to like about his game and how it meshes with players currently on the Knicks roster. There’s also plenty to be nervous about.

(Like a career Player Efficiency Rating lower than Randle’s for example. Fewer win shares as well. Worse career efg% to boot. Plus a higher average salary for the duration of their contract. You get the picture.)

To hear some Knicks fans tell it, though, pairing him with R.J. Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, and Obi Toppin will be the second coming of the Showtime Lakers with a twist of Harlem Globetrotters. Those folks are humming “Sweet Georgia Brown” while they dream of alley-oops.

Those same people will be the first to scapegoat him if things don’t work out.

I promise you.

Whatever happens at the deadline, New York Knicks fans are the only ones in charge of their own happiness.

Set expectations accordingly.