How the Knicks Can Win Big By Losing Them All
So, the New York Knicks continue to tank games. It is unabashed. While you were watching baseball, they were blowing a late lead to Milwaukee Bucks last night before eventually falling in OT, as planned. They have lost 15 of their last 17 games. They were outscored 32 to 21 in the fourth to allow overtime, and I couldn't be happier. I've got designs on the one of the top two picks in the upcoming draft lottery and I think, for once, we've got the coach to get us there!
With so few games to go and the point guard (the glaring hole on our team that undeniably cost them the game last night as they couldn't run a halfcourt set when the possessions counted most down the stretch) of my dreams playing so well in the tournament I'm just happy to have the ping pong balls that each additional defeat brings in the upcoming draft.
The Knicks wake up today with a 20-54 record. This is good for fifth worst in the Association. The Miami Heat has the runaway lead for last place with only 13 wins, but I'm not overly worried about catching them (since we can't) because I think that the Knicks just need to have one of the top two picks to get a potentially franchise-changing player in Michael Beasley from K-State or Derrick Rose from Memphis.
And, to be honest, I want Rose. I want a point guard that can pass, score, defend and has some size and can completely control a game. In other words, I want Rose to be my Chris Paul, or my second Mark Jackson. I think that if we can land in the top two spots of the draft, then we can snag him.
That means, that we've got to outmaneuver Memphis (19 wins), Minnesota (19 wins) and Seattle (17 wins) either by way of bouncing ping pong balls or by way of errant basket ballls. Thankfully, tonight the Blue and Orange disastactular travels to Memphis. If we can pull out a loss down there (and maybe send some Knicks gear over to Coach Cal and D. Rose) than we'll have fallen level with them.
That leaves 7 more games to make up one with Memphis and three with Seattle. Unfortunately, the Knicks don't get a chance to lose to either of those teams again this season. Which is a shame. If we could be losing to anyone these days I would want it to be Seattle or Minnesota. However, the Knicks play very losable games @ New Orleans, at home against Orlando, @ Detroit, and at home against Boston. Those should all be chalk L's, which leaves dangerously winnable contests against Charlotte, Atlanta, and @ Indiana on the schedule.
The Atlanta Hawks are fighting (and seemingly securing) a playoff seed so I would hope that they wouldn't mail in their fourth to last game of the year. They need the win. I need the loss. And, I'm confident that we can all leave that night (Friday, April 11) feeling like we got what we wanted. So, that just leaves Charlotte and Indiana. The 'Bockers have split the first two games with Charlotte. Each team has held serve at home. However, the Knicks win came in their brief stretch of inspired .500 ball in February when Nate was playing so well and Jamal hadn't broken the 45,000 minute-mark for the season.
The Knicks are not the same team they were for those two halycon mid-winter weeks and the Bobcats have won 3 of their last 4, including a win @ the Lakers. Even though the game should be a toss up I feel confident that Isiah Thomas can sabotage this game with some combination of Wilson Chandler in crunchtime and Randolph Morris the rest of the time.
And, if we can make my dreams of these losses a reality and THEN we'll end the miserable 2007-2008 season in Indianapolis playing another woeful team in front of tens and tens of paying customers. In many ways it is fitting that we end with the Pacers since the word is out that today the Knicks will announce the hiring of longtime Pacer exec Donnie Walsh as the President of Basketball Operations here in the Big Apple.
If so, then I would think his (hopefully) last duet (since their first took place in Indy) with Isiah will be a good one. Isiah can lose each and every game left on the schedule and Donnie can use that draft pick to start turning this thing around in the offseason.