Leon Rose put pen to paper, the Knicks finally have a new president of basketball operations, and it’s a new season. Except, it’s also not.
We’ve reached that wonderful time of the year where wins start to mean losses and losses start to mean wins. I dream of a time when this does not apply to the Knicks. Unfortunately that’s not this year.
No matter what your preferred outcome is for the Knicks, I would like to believe that we mainly share common ground: We should, at the very least, root for teams hovering around where the Knicks are at to win. What’s more, we should consider where the Clippers’ first round pick and the Hornets’ second round pick land. With so many games left, and with so many teams potentially affecting those picks, it can be tricky to determine who to root for as the season concludes.
Well, fear not! Over the next six weeks or so, I’ll be writing about which teams I believe Knicks fans should root for and which teams to root against. This series was inspired by someone who did essentially this on the subreddit for the Knicks – seeing as how it hasn’t returned there, I’d like to bring it back. I may tinker with the format moving forward, so kindly bear with me.
While I despise the Rockets, I hope the Knicks lose tonight for the sake of the tank. On most occasions, I will root for the Knicks to lose. I say most because, while I do believe losing is in New York’s best interests, I don’t want to see the team lose every single game from here on out. And the reality is that the Knicks won’t be going 0-22 anyway, so rooting for or projecting that is unrealistic to say the least.
Who Knicks fans want to win tonight should be fairly obvious but it will certainly be more debatable moving forward. So without further ado, here’s today’s Tank Talk.
Sim of the Day
Average pick: 1
Average jump/fall: 3
Jazz vs. Cavaliers
The Jazz snapped a four-game losing streak with a 129-119 win against the Wizards. Donovan Mitchell is a scoring machine, having posted 30+ points in four straight.
The Cavs were this close to beating the Pacers at home this weekend before losing by nine. But hey, shooting 22.7% from three will do that to you!
Who we want to win: Cavs
What’s more important, the Knicks moving up in the top five or the Jazz trying to catch the Clippers? The choice should be obvious. On one hand, it would be fantastic to see the Jazz try to gain a half game on the Clippers but the star potential is so much greater towards the top of the draft than the end of the first round.
Grizzlies vs. Hawks
Losers of five straight, the Grizzlies finally snapped their streak by demolishing the Lakers by 17. Ja Morant is averaging more than 11 assists per game over his last three games.
The Hawks have stomped their last two opponents by a combined 35 points, with both games being at home. Trae Young is averaging 31.5 points and 10.8 assists on 43.7/35.7/87.7 in the year of our lord 2020.
Who we want to win: Hawks
Much like with the Cavs, the Hawks are neck and neck with the Knicks. The Hawks play the Grizzlies (H), Wizards (A), Grizzlies (A), Hornets (H), Knicks (H), and Cavs (H) their next six games. It’s very possible that the Hawks win enough games to give the Knicks breathing room with 14 games remaining.
Bucks vs. Heat
The Bucks have won 11 of their last 12 games. They’re the best team in the NBA. They narrowly beat the Hornets without Khris Middleton, who has missed the last two games.
The Heat are good but not as good as the Bucks. That’s really all you need to know about any team facing the Deer.
Who we want to win: Heat
Milwaukee’s 11 games better than the Clippers. Miami’s three games behind the Clippers. Go Miami (yuck).
Mavericks vs. Bulls
Dallas has been up and down – but mostly up – recently. Their 20-point drubbing of the Timberwolves yesterday was no bueno but also no surprise either. They’re 10 games ahead of the Pelicans for the ninth seed, so it’s safe to say that they’ll make the playoffs.
The Bulls just lost to the Knicks and are now two games “back” in the standings. They’re missing several players and their defense stinks. How bad is Chicago on defense? The Bulls ranked last in defensive rating (119.4) over the month of February. The team with the next-to-last defensive rating (117.4) was the Hawks. There was almost a wider gap between 30th and 29th than there was between 29th and 25th (0.1 difference).
Who we want to win: Bulls
This is a no-brainer. Chicago must fulfill its destiny and wind up with a mid-lottery pick. That becomes more feasible with more wins. It would also help the Knicks not potentially fall as far in the lottery.