Stephen Curry’s Historic Night Mercifully Overshadows the Floundering New York Knicks

When Stephen Curry hit career 3-pointer number 2,974, the New York Knicks might have been just as happy as Curry. That way, the Knicks could lose once again and not be the center of attention.

As Steph etched his place into the record books, the actual basketball game took a backseat. It worked out perfectly for the Knicks, who with yet another loss have seen their hot start evaporate and quickly turn into a nightmare ahead of the holidays.

Stephen Curry led the way in a win over the New York Knicks

Once Curry’s celebration ended and play resumed, the two-time MVP hit another three. And another. And one more for good measure.

In total, Curry hit five 3-pointers as part of his team-high 22 points, lifting the Golden State Warriors to a 105-96 win over the Knicks. New York actually held a one-point lead at halftime but got outscored 24-16 in the third quarter.

The Knicks failed to spoil Curry’s evening thanks to an inability to make shots. New York only had eight turnovers as a team but shot a poor 36.1% from the field. Aside from Julius Randle, who carried the team with 31 points on 47.6% shooting, the rest of the bunch combined to hit just 20 out of 62 field-goal attempts.

Golden State’s win propelled it to an NBA-best 23-5 record. Meanwhile, New York fell to 12-16, a disturbing cry from where it started the season.

The Knicks are in a downward spiral

The days of “Bing Bong” seem like so long ago. Now, with Christmas just 10 days away, New York is 12th in the East and wondering how things have gone south so quickly.

Following a 41-31 season, the Knicks started off 2021-22 with five wins in their first six games. The team managed to tread water over the next few weeks, making it through its first 20 games without losing more than two in a row. As a result, New York sat at 11-9 and once again appeared destined to return to the playoffs.

However, since November 30, the Knicks have been one of the league’s worst teams. A lone victory against the San Antonio has prevented New York from an eight-game losing streak. During the horrific stretch, the Knicks have been outscored by 9.6 points in their losses while being held under 100 points four times.

Over the course of the season, New York’s offensive rating has plummeted down to 18th. Its defensive rating, which has been a far cry from last year’s dominant unit, is only 23rd. No matter how you slice it, the Knicks are a shell of the playoff team many expected them to be.

Could a trade be the solution for the Knicks?

At 12-16, the Knicks clearly need to change something if they want to salvage a disappointing season. With Tom Thibodeau’s job safe for now, the easiest answer could be to explore a trade.

One player whose days in New York could be numbered is Kemba Walker. The 31-year-old has struggled in the first year of his two-year, $17.9 million contract, losing his spot in the rotation last month. With the veteran taking up an expensive spot on the bench, the Knicks could part with Kemba in the hopes of getting anything of value in return.

Walker is one of five Knicks eligible to be traded beginning on December 15. Evan Fournier, Alec Burks, Taj Gibson, and Nerlens Noel are the four others New York can now place on the trading block if it wanted to.

If the Knicks wanted to get wild, there’s always Ben Simmons. The Athletic mentioned New York as one of the teams interested in the disgruntled point guard. Simmons, who has yet to take the court for the Philadelphia 76ers this season, is in year two of a five-year, $177 million contract.

Tuesday’s loss to Curry and the Warriors exposed the Knicks as a team in desperate need of a shake-up. Whether it’s shuffling the rotation, trading a veteran like Walker, or swinging for the fences in a deal for Simmons, something needs to change in the Big Apple.

All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference and contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.

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