With the Knicks in a complete and utter tailspin as they head into the season's final few weeks, losing to the Warriors was obviously to be expected. Alas, this campaign is no longer about wins and losses. As New York struggles to find an identity and a respective rhythm on both ends of the floor, the rest of this season comes down to assessing interim head coach Kurt Rambis, how he utilizes the team's talent, and who may be valuable enough to hold onto when the Knicks look to regroup this coming summer.
With all of that in mind, here are some meaningful observations, despite the blowout loss to Golden State:
-Starting Sasha Vujacic (and subsequently bringing Arron Afflalo off the bench) continues to be something Kurt Rambis experiments with. Such a balancing act is very reminiscent of former coach Mike Woodson starting James White back in the 2012-13 season. If Vujacic was someone to come in and be subtle about doing all of the little things, he'd quietly fit right in. His role should be about not disrupting the starters' offensive flow. Focus on defense. Instead, he's proven to be an overzealous shooter who takes the ball out of others' more sensible hands. Hopefully this experiment is proof he should not be retained next season, despite his existing relationship with Rambis and Phil Jackson.
- Kristaps Porzingis has clearly hit the rookie wall, and this was arguably even more exposed by the pestering Draymond Green. Shooting just 1 of 11, Porzingis' confidence seems to be wavering again. The Knicks have to do what they can to encourage him on the offensive end. He needs to take smarter shots, follow up on second-chance opportunities, and attack the basket more than he has been lately. Limiting him to a spot-shooter around the perimeter is not productive. His struggles may very well coincide with Rambis' tenure as head coach.
- Interestingly enough, despite getting blown out in the third quarter, the Knicks did the best they could to compete early on. Coach Rambis was making adjustments to his lineup in accordance to Golden State's matchups. Thus, Robin Lopez only played 14 minutes as both teams went small.
- Kevin Seraphin was the beneficiary of some rare extended playing time. In one of his most efficient performances of the season, the big man added 10 points and boasted a plus/minus of -1, despite the 36-point deficit New York had by game's end. In evaluating some of the team's young talent, he should get a more substantial look before his contract expires at the end of the season. He may still be worth carrying over, despite sporadic minutes thus far.