Point guards Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings struggled on Wednesday night as the Knicks lost to the Mavericks, 103-95, in Dallas.
Rose had 13 points, three assists, and three turnovers, and was a -13 in 35 minutes.
He had scored at least 20 points in each of his four previous games, including a season-high 30 points against the Celtics on Jan. 18.
Jennings, who played 21 minutes, had just three points and three assists.
New York's offense is supposed to be a big time strength. Unfortunately, the team's point guards aren't pulling their own weight.
As they fail to string together multiple victories, the Knicks appear to have very little will to win. While their defensive deficiencies are clear, a team can sometimes overcome such challenges by outweighing it with a much stronger offensive flow.
In the loss against Dallas, Rose and Jennings combined for an underwhelming 7 of 21 from the field and only dished out six assists between them. Each player's struggles have been evident for quite a while, and one issue is that Rose doesn't have a pass-first mentality.
The tone is normally set by a team's floor general, but Rose doesn't seem to take into account that his teammates depend on him to set them up. On Wednesday, his shot selection was suspect and his poor habit of leaving his feet off jump-passes led to frustrating turnovers and broken plays. This obviously disrupts the rhythm of those around him.
As for Jennings, he too is failing to make his fellow reserves better. He doesn't have the necessary chemistry with them, and the fact that Kristaps Porzingis' jump shot is flat is limiting Jennings' effectiveness even more. This leaves Jennings to take errant shots, which serves as a buzzkill for the Knicks' offense each time they attempt to mount a comeback.
While the defense struggled in Dallas, the offense conversely looked uninspired. As Carmelo Anthony cooled off in the second half, the burden fell on the point guards to get players going. Eight fourth quarter turnovers later, it was clear Rose and Jennings were not exhibiting the necessary command or leadership.
This two-headed monster at point guard was supposed to be a strength for New York, with depth only a concern if and when Rose or Jennings succumbed to injury. Unfortunately, the loss against the Mavericks is only further proof this experiment is not working.
Both players are on expiring contracts and clearly aren't providing the Knicks with what they need from the position. It may be worth exploring potential trades closer to the deadline. Otherwise, it's time to look toward the summer and start fresh. This team is in need desperate need of a distributor with a calm demeanor, and Rose and Jennings are much too erratic.