Isola: N.Y. state of hoops? Terrible

By on November 22, 2013

Mark Konezny/USA Today Sports

Mike Woodson is in the hot seat just 11 games into the season, as the Knicks have yet to even win a home game.

Anything you can do, we can do worse.

That is the mantra of New York’s two professional basketball teams, which have identical 3-8 records and thousands of distraught fans. OK, in the Brooklyn Nets’ case, hundreds.

You think Mike Woodson has been bad this season? Well, the Nets can top that with Jason Kidd. Is Kevin Garnett done? Compared to Amar’e Stoudemire, KG looks positively spry. Tyson Chandler goes down and Brook Lopez is right behind him.

If only Mikhail Prokhorov played the guitar, we could have a battle of bands to determine once and for all the worst team in New York. The drinks and guarantees are on Jim Dolan.

This alleged “golden era” of the NBA in NYC is, in the immortal words of Tim Thomas, fugazy. The Knicks and Nets are both awful. They can’t even tank right. Both teams traded their 2014 first-round picks in what is shaping up to be the deepest and most talented draft in years.

We’re 11 games into the season, and the Knicks and Nets are tied for last place in the Atlantic Division behind Toronto, Boston and Philadelphia. The idea that both the Knicks and Nets will win 55-plus games is laughable. Just to reach 50 wins ,they’d have to finish 47-24. Care to bet on that one?

RELATED: WOODSON: MELO NOT GETTING THE CALLS

There is, of course, one glimmer of hope: the Eastern Conference stinks. Miami, Indiana and Chicago are legitimate while the rest of the teams are either mediocre or, to be kind, in rebuilding mode. The Knicks and Nets fall under the latter category. They just don’t know it yet.

One of them, however, will win this division and could do so by posting 38 to 40 wins. Let’s just hope neither team raises a banner for this modest accomplishment.

The question, though, is which team cracks first? Which one finally gets its act together and begins to resemble a team worthy of the Sports Illustrated cover or a billion-dollar transformation?

Jason Kidd isn't doing much better than Woodson, as his team stands at 3-8 despite expectations of a championship-caliber squad.

Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Jason Kidd isn’t doing much better than Woodson, as his team stands at 3-8 despite expectations of a championship-caliber squad.

The Nets’ issues are point-guard related more so than age-related. Garnett probably regrets waiving his no-trade clause but he is too proud and too much of a leader to allow this continue. Garnett and Paul Pierce were brought in as complementary players and eventually they will help.

The question is will Kidd and Deron Williams ever help? The Nets have bent over backward to placate Williams, mortgaging the future to assemble a veteran roster and hiring the coach he wanted. In return, Williams has been simply an average point guard. He’s a little better than Raymond Felton but certainly not Kidd in his prime.

Then again, Kidd isn’t even Kidd anymore, at least not with the ball taken out of his hands. The Nets’ plan was always a little confusing: a win-now team with a learn-on-the-job coach.

RELATED: KIDD STARTING TO SOUND DELUSIONAL AS NETS DODGE REALITY

Somewhere Byron Scott is smiling.

Kidd hired Lawrence Frank as his top assistant, and from what I’m hearing, there is some friction between the two longtime friends. A person who knows both told me “something has changed between them.”

Somewhere Byron Scott is really smiling.

The Knicks are not exactly the shining example of a team on the same page either. A source claims that Woodson has some trust issues with his staff assuming he can name them all. Every time you turn around, the Knicks hire somebody else to rebound for a player during shooting drills and give that person the title of “workout coach.” In today’s NBA, the players allegedly work out more only to sit out more games or be placed on a minutes restriction.

Do you ever remember Michael Jordan being on a minutes restriction? And he had a knee issue dating back to college.

Anyway, the Knicks also mortgaged their future for one player, Carmelo Anthony, and assuming Melo stays healthy they will recover. Tyson Chandler will return, Felton will curb his appetite with the help of a workout coach and maybe things will really return to normal when Dolan lifts his ban on the Knicks City Dancers.

Better days are ahead for both teams. Jim Dolan guarantees it . . . only because it can’t possibly get worse, right?

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