Phil: Knicks not ready for showtime

ByIan Begley ESPN logo
Thursday, October 30, 2014

NEW YORK -- Phil Jackson summed up the New York Knicks' 24-point season-opening loss to theChicago Bulls succinctly late Wednesday night.

"Not ready for showtime, were we guys?" the Knicks president said to reporters before getting into the passenger seat of his SUV.

Jackson's new-look Knicks struggled on both ends of the floor in their opener, hitting just 37 percent of their shots and allowing Chicago to score 42 points in the paint.

New York fell behind by as many as 35 points in the second half.

Afterward, Jackson was asked how long he thought it would take for the Knicks to be competitive in his first full season as president.

"I can't say how long it's going to take," he said.

Jackson, a 13-time NBA champion, added that he largely expected the Knicks to struggle as badly as they did on Wednesday.

"Sure did," he said.

Hired last March, Jackson spent the offseason retooling the Knicks' roster.

He replaced head coach Mike Woodson with first-year coach Derek Fisher. He also re-signed Carmelo Anthony and traded away Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to the Dallas Mavericks in a deal that netted Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert.

The Knicks are implementing a new offense and have five new rotation players, so many analysts predicted that they'd struggle early in the season.

Fisher echoed those sentiments after Wednesday's loss.

"We're going somewhere," Fisher said. "But at the beginning of where we're going, it's going to be difficult to get wins. We have to fight really really hard to win games."

With Anthony off the floor, Chicago went on a 25-10 run spanning the first and second quarters to take control of the game. They sealed the win in the third quarter, outscoring outscoring the Knicks 31-17.

"We never recovered," Iman Shumpert said. "We can't die like that. I think our energy died and we can't do that."

J.R. Smith also suggested that the Knicks gave up in the second half.

"When we stopped competing the end of the third quarter, fourth quarter, we could all tell," Smith said. "I think they looked at it as if they felt they smelled blood in the water. We just couldn't do anything about it. We put our heads down and tucked our tails. We can't do that at home."

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