It is for times like these when the Knicks’ own archives provide helpful guidance to the crises at hand. Thirty-one years ago, in the midst of an extended downturn in the team’s fortunes, it was Micheal Ray Richardson who provided a forever assessment of a team permanently afflicted by gravity.

“The ship,” Sugar said, “be sinkin’.”

That team, a 33-49 train wreck, was Red Holzman’s farewell as Knicks coach, and you have to figure that as he gazed out at the regular exploits of Campy Russell, Marvin Webster and Sly Williams, he had to wonder if he’d actually coached Clyde, the Captain and Dollar Bill in the same lifetime.

Knicks fans know the feeling, because the more banana peels that keep littering this season, especially this queasy stretch of it, the more they almost feel the need to demand video evidence this team once sat at 18-5, once inspired such hope among the furious and the faithful.

“I’m concerned,” Tyson Chandler said when the Knicks were done absorbing their latest slaughter, a 117-94 calamity at the hands of the Nuggets. “We’ve been in a little bit of a decline. Even in our wins.”

It’s bad. It’s very bad. And it only gets worse night after night, game after game, drubbing after drubbing. Yes, the most haunting image of another lost night Out West was Chandler splattered on the Pepsi Center floor, clutching his left knee, agony creasing his face late in the second quarter of what was already an unwatchable mess of a game.

Yet Woodson said Chandler’s prognosis was surprisingly positive, diagnosed with a contusion. Woodson actually called Chandler “probable” for tonight’s game in Portland. Less good: Carmelo Anthony finally succumbed to his balky knee, leaving his hellacious homecoming early in the third quarter, bound now for a plane back to New York and a draining needle.