I love the Knicks and nothing would make me happier than for them to win basketball games, except right now. My rooting interest in the Knicks is to lose as many games as they can to finish the year. Nothing is worse in the NBA than being a 7th or 8th seed in the playoffs. No lottery pick and a reminder how far away you are from the top at the present moment after you get ran off the court by the Cavs, Celtics, Spurs or Warriors. Believe it or not we actually have our own first round pick this season and a bad enough record to have a chance to draft a superstar. Even better is this draft is loaded and especially strong at the point guard position which just so happens to be our biggest need since we had Walt Clyde Frazier running the point.
The Knicks are not pulling a 76ers and actually trying to lose by shutting down players (which I wish they would) so we must rely on other teams talent to beat us until further notice. This draft has a lot of good players but the drop off starts at pick number 6 to me in terms of getting a player who can change a franchise immediately. At pick number 9 the dice rolling begins so we desperately need to stay at least inside the top 8 picks and preferably inside the top 6. With our core right now we have legit chance to be good if we draft the right player this year so we can not screw this up. If we do screw this up mark my words in 5 years we will be trading KP to begin yet another “rebuild”. Hopefully we lose, win the lottery, and add that franchise guard to pair with our franchise big man. All we need to do is lose but the competition when it comes to losing is pretty strong so lets take a look where we stand.
Right now the Knicks are 28-46 which is good for a tie for the 5th worst record in the NBA with the 76ers. We are in a good spot right now so lets take a look at who is in the running and what the future looks like.
Top 3- The Nets, Lakers, and Suns right now are at the top of the pack in the Tank Off. The Nets have little talent and have to big of a lead to be caught even though they have been playing better basketball so they are a lock for a top 3 worst record. The sad part is the Celtics have their pick this year and seemingly every following year so they are a lost cause. The Lakers are next and currently have a 7 game cushion on us and real incentive to keep losing due to the fact that if they fall out of the top 3 picks they will lose their pick. With only 8 games left we are not matching them. The Suns are number 3 right now and we will not be able to catch them either as they have a 6 game lead on us. Devin Booker scored 70 points against the Celtics and they still lost so that tells you how things have gone for them this year.
4-10- This group is where we currently sit being tied for the 5th worst record but there is opportunity to jump up to number 4. There is also opportunity to drop to 8th or 9th which would be a complete disaster so lets analyze each team in the hunt.
4th-Orlando Magic 27-47- The magic have some players in Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic but they are a bad team. They traded Serge Ibaka and are looking to the future. They are currently 1 game up on us and they play the Nets 2 times to end the season. The Magic’s remaining schedule has 8 games and of them 3 winnable games in my estimation. Getting to 4 would be huge so lets hope they can pull out a couple wins to finish up.
5th- Tied Philadlephia 76ers 28-46 – The Sixers have some talent on the roster have been playing decent and Dario Saric looks like a future all-star. We finish our season at home against the 76ers and that game could end up being huge for both teams. Their schedule has 8 games left including the Knicks and Nets . The 76ers are pros at tanking so we will have to step up our tanking game in order to finish below them.
5th- Tied New York Knicks 28-46- The Knicks have talent and are not packing it in so they worry me even though they sat Carmelo and Rose is out tonight. Hopefully Carmelo and Rose will sit out a few more games as we finish up bettering our chances to lose. What makes me feel better is the Knicks Schedule is pretty rough to finish. Out of the remaining 8 games I only see 1 game where we will be favored to win and that is against the 76ers which will be a big game. I would like to see KP and Willy finish strong playing together while losing that is best case scenario.
6th- Sacramento Kings 29-45- When the Kings traded Demarcus Cousins I thought they would not win another game all season however they have actually pulled out some wins including a good one against the Clippers. The Kings have 5 games out of their remaining 8 against other teams in the lottery so hopefully they can squeeze out a few more wins and we stay ahead of them.
7th- Minnesota Timberwolves 29-44- The T-wolves have talent, are a team on the rise and should continue to play hard to end the season. The T-wolves have 9 games left and 2 against the Lakers and 1 verse the Kings but the other 6 of the games are against current playoff teams. Hopefully they pull out 4 more wins and I think that should keep them behind us.
8th- New Orleans Pelicans 31-43- This is a team I have full faith stay behind us. They traded for Demarcus Cousins and already had Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday. Having 2 of the top 10 NBA players on the same team means they will win more often than not even though they have not caught fire since acquiring Cousins but they are 6-4 in their last 10 and have a 3 game cushion on us. Any game for them now is winnable and 3 of their last 8 are against other lottery teams. Their pick will head to the Kings as part of the Cousin’s trade so they have no reason to pack it in even though they are pretty much out of the playoff race.
9th-Dallas Mavericks 31-42- The Mavs have 3.5 game lead on us and should be able to pull out a few more wins to end the season and that should be enough to get the job done for us. Rick Carlisle is a great coach and his team will not lay down despite their overall lack of talent.
10th- Denver Nuggets- 35-39- The Nuggets are to far ahead of us at this point and should be a fun team to watch in the future. Nikola Jokic is one of the best young players in the NBA and they have a nice young core. They are 1 game out of the final playoff spot in the West and if they are able to draft another impact player this season they have a bright future.
There is the landscape of the worst teams in the NBA and I feel pretty confident we will be in position to draft the player we need to finally compete in this draft. There is still plenty of basketball left so we will have to hope things break right for us.