There were many reasons for the New York Knicks horrific play last season, going from a team that was the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference in 2012-13 to not even making the playoffs.
One of those reasons, according to Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith, was a rift between the team’s starting point guard, Raymond Felton, and the team’s starting center, Tyson Chandler.
From Marc Berman of the New York Post:
“We had a lot of confusion going on with what we were going to do, with schemes and stuff,” Smith said. “Whenever you have your point guard and leading defender [not on the same page] — a lot of pick-and-roll situations we weren’t agreeing on, and that right there will kill you. That’s the toughest play to guard in basketball. They were a part of it, but I can’t blame it [all] on them because there were another three people out on the court.”
Smith said personal issues affected Chandler’s mood. As the Knicks continued to struggle, Chandler became openly frustrated. After the season, Chandler and Felton were traded to Dallas.
“Tyson was going through a lot of things with his mother,” Smith said. “It’s really hard to focus — I know if I was going through that with my mother, I wouldn’t be able to focus on basketball or anything else. In his defense, he had so much going on, and absolutely, frustration got the best of all of us.”
Giving credence to Smith’s claims, both Felton and Chandler had their worst season’s as members of the Knicks in 2013-14. Felton shot just 39.5 percent from the floor while scoring 9.7 points per game and Chandler averaged 8.7 points after averaging double-digit scoring in each of the last three seasons.
As Berman notes, the two remain teammates on the Dallas Mavericks. Hopefully for Rick Carlisle and Co’s sake, the pair is able to work out their differences or the Mavs could have some issues next season.