The New York Knicks went into Thursday's home game vs. the Houston Rockets at an NBA-worst 5-33, mired in a franchise-record 13-game losing streak and boasting a roster of limited talent. The team is wretched enough to inspire questions about the progress of Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher's rebuilding efforts and the usefulness of playing star forward Carmelo Anthony at all over the rest of the season. Madison Square Garden may remain the Mecca, but current visits to its hallowed grounds are not so much ecstatic experiences as opportunities for crises of faith.
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It appears that some fans have chosen to show their displeasure via a classic method. During a stoppage of play at the 9:32 mark of the third quarter, with the Knicks down 66-47 to the Rockets, TNT's cameras found a quintet of fans wearing paper bags over their heads:
These fans may be the stars of this clip, but it's also worth noting the Zen Master looking upon his creation with a blank stare. The 2014-15 Knicks have given everyone something to hate.
The paper bag has traditionally been associated with some of the most frustrating teams in sports history, including the bloated, endlessly frustrating Knicks constructed by Isiah Thomas in the mid-'00s. This iteration of the franchise is somewhat different in that many of its players are just as anonymous as the fans who choose to hide their faces. It's safe to say that New Yorkers were not talking up the potential of guys like Langston Galloway, Travis Wear, and Cole Aldrich this offseason. On the other hand, those young players might provide more thrills than many of the team's veterans as this unfortunate season trudges towards its conclusion. At least the young guys have something to play for over the next few months.
It's likely that the paper bags will continue to show up at MSG. They made an appearance in December during the team's previous 10-game losing streak, and the Knicks have shown little to suggest that they will turn things around. Thursday's 120-96 blowout at the hands of Houston marked the team's sixth-consecutive double-digit loss.
But, hey, at least a fan without a face is better than an empty seat. An empty Madison Square Garden would be a much more troubling scene.
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