NEW YORK -- How bad are things right now for the 5-34 New York Knicks?
They have fans sitting in $1,700 seats with paper bags on their heads.
Five teenage fans sitting in the front row near the basket wore the paper bags on Thursday while watching the Knicks lose their 14th straight game.
"[5-34]? This is a basketball town," Jordan Mandel, one of the bag men from New City, New York, said after the Knicks' 120-96 loss to the Houston Rockets.
"I'm protesting the [Iman] Shumpert trade," Dylan Samuels added. Samuels didn't want to reveal how much he and his friends paid for the seats, but the tickets were listed at a little over $1,700 on the secondary ticket market.
If the fans were looking for attention, it was money well spent.
The fed-up quintet was featured on the TNT broadcast. Photos of them quickly spread across social media.
"It's an unfortunate situation," Rockets center Dwight Howard said.
Even more unfortunate? The Knicks' situation.
New York extended its franchise-record losing streak to 14 games in a 24-point loss to the Rockets. The Knicks have dropped 24 of their last 25 games and have lost a franchise-record 11 straight at home.
Coach Derek Fisher was fed up with his starters early in the second half. He subbed four of the five players after Houston scored 12 points in the first three minutes of the third quarter.
"They didn't deserve to be in the game," Fisher said of the unit. "And we went with the younger guys and you know the score obviously still got out of hand, [but] I thought their competitiveness and just kind of fight was a little more than the guys we had out there initially."
Fisher went with a youth movement, starting the fourth quarter with five guys who played in the summer league.
They brought much more energy than the starting unit. Starting point guard Jose Calderon struggled, going scoreless (0-for-5) with two turnovers in 21 minutes. Starting shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. had just seven points on 3-for-9 shooting. He missed five of his six 3-point attempts.
"This was one of my worst games in the NBA," Calderon said.
This was the Knicks' second game since Phil Jackson essentially pulled the plug on the season. On Monday, the team president sent Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to Cleveland in exchange for three players he subsequently waived and a second-round pick.
In addition to being without those two guards, the Knicks also were missing Carmelo Anthony (knee), Amar'e Stoudemire (knee) and Andrea Bargnani (calf). It is unclear at this point when any of those players will be back.
With or without them, the rest of the season will be more about lottery positioning than anything else.
Fisher, for one, believes that he can learn from all of the losing.
"I'll be much better from everything I've experienced so far," Fisher said.
Don't think the Knicks' fans with the paper bags over their heads can say the same thing.