New York Knicks season will be defined by the month of March

The New York Knicks desperately need to get healthy if they want to stay afloat in the Eastern Conference standings.

New Orleans Pelicans v New York Knicks
New Orleans Pelicans v New York Knicks / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Can the New York Knicks stay afloat in the Eastern Conference another month without reinforcements?

Just a month ago, there was a growing belief that the New York Knicks were possibly going to emerge as the biggest threat to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference. New York had just traded for OG Anunoby and through the first month with him on the roster, the Knicks looked like a very real championship contender. However, then it all seemed to change in a matter of a few days.

Injuries to both Anunoby and Julius Randle have completely decimated the Knicks and they've struggled mightily, and that's putting it nicely, without their two key cogs.

The New York Knicks' recent struggles

During the month of February, the Knicks are 4-7 (with still a game to play Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors) and have struggled across the board. During that span, the Knicks have the 19th-ranked offensive rating, the worst defensive rating, and the 22nd-ranked net rating. When you compare those numbers to the fact that the Knicks were top 10 in offense, defense, and net rating through the season up to February, it's easy to see how much the team is struggling at the moment.

One of the big reasons for the team's struggles is the loss of Anunoby and Randle. Anunoby was a big part of the team's wing defense and Randle's offensive production has been missed. The question is, how much longer could the Knicks survive without reinforcements? The Knicks continue to fall in the standings and currently find themselves 4th in the East, with the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, and Orlando Magic on their tails.

If the Knicks continue to struggle over the next few weeks, there's a chance they could find themselves in the Play-In Tournament bracket. Considering how well the Knicks were playing after the acquisition of Anunoby, the team's recent struggles are unfortunate.

Add in the fact that at the earliest, Anunoby is set to return in late March and Randle, at best, just before the end of the regular season, it's only natural to be concerned about where the Knicks will be by the time the playoffs roll around.

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New York will certainly be tested over the next few weeks and, quite frankly, their season could very much hinge on whether or not they can survive until reinforcements are back. Right now, it's hard to have any confidence that they can.