There’s nothing quite like a 105-100 home loss to the New York Knicks to lead the Chicago Sun-Times’ Greg Couch to conclude the Bulls’ “mess wasn’t Scott Skiles’ fault after all. The problem is with them.”

Struggling teams can get a spark from a new coach, but it rarely lasts. Nobody loses to the Knicks, especially at home. Not even when your best player, Luol Deng, is out with a sore Achilles tendon.

I don’t think the Bulls will slip all the way back to the terrible team they were up until Christmas. But close. And the best you can hope for, anyway, is that they can become the same team they were last season and the season before that.

Eke into the playoffs with no chance of doing anything when they get there.

It’s funny because I thought Skiles might be done when Gordon and Deng passed on $50 million contract extensions during the offseason. That was the end of the underdog era.

When we write the history on Skiles, it’s going to say that he failed. But he didn’t. He comes from a generation when players looked up to coaches — or feared them. That worked when he arrived because these were baby Bulls, not big enough to tune him out. His style was perfect for helping the kids to grow up.

Now it’s Boylan’s turn. But Hinrich still isn’t a good enough point guard for a championship team. Gordon is still too short and inconsistent. Andres Nocioni is good at everything, great at nothing.