The most unpredictable team in the NBA this season has been the New York Knicks. The best team Gulf & Western's money can buy is just as disorganized now as it was last summer when the consensus was that all the club needed was a power forward.

Well, just before the regular season, the knicks acquired one of the premier big forwards in the league when they swapped disruptive Ray Williams to New Jersey for Maurice Lucas.

Now, after the team has lost 18 of its first 35 games, the biggest problem confronting embattled Coach Red Holzman is: what to do with Lucas. It all started after a four-game losing streak when Lucas asked to sit out a game because of a sore knee. With Campy Russell and Sly Williams at forwards, the Knicks routed Indiana. The same combination crushed Chicago and went on a five-game winning streak.

Lucas, grumbling over his lack of playing time, was in the starting lineup Sunday night against the Bullets and what happened? The Knicks lost their third in a row.

The Knicks are the only team in the NBA that has has five former all-stars in its starting lineup (Lucas (1978 and '79), Russell ('79), Bill Cartwright ('80), Randy Smith ('78) and Michael Ray Richardson ('80 and '81). There is no apparent reason they should have a losing record.