"(We needed) more work, attention to details, to keep growing as a team. A good team needs time to play together. It was our first year of most of the guys playing together. It never happens like that (where) you trade a couple of players and you're a championship contender. It's understandable we weren't going to win the championship, but I could tell we weren't there yet."
Last summer, the Knicks tried to skip past the rebuilding process they probably should've been undertaking patiently, acting instead like a win-now team by trading a young point guard and cost-controlled center for Rose, then signing Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah to lucrative free-agent contracts.
Pairing Rose (a former league MVP) with Carmelo Anthony (a former scoring champ), Noah (a former Defensive Player of the Year), and Porzingis (coming off a terrific rookie season) had some Knicks thinking big, but the pieces haven't fit together as well as they'd hoped, and a promising start gave way to a familiarly deflating second half. The defense has been lousy, there's still confusion about what the team is doing on offense, and at 27-42, the Knicks are lottery bound for a fourth straight season.
"Of course, we all expected big things out of this year, but from the beginning it didn't feel like - I felt we'd make big runs, but we weren't there at that level where we wanted to be," Porzingis said. "We can see now we're not where we want it to be."