As I sit on my firm, blue couch from Bob’s Discount Furniture, watching the Hawks blow it and lose to the Hornets in overtime, I’m reminded of just how stupid it is that tanking even exists. The Knicks need the Hawks to win and I’m really not feeling a Charlotte win. I don’t want to see the Hawks make the tank more difficult and I’d rather not see the Hornets second round pick get any lower than it currently is (one game from being 39th).
And suddenly – chaos. The score is 131 apiece. It’s Charlotte ball. The Hornets inbound the rock and get it to Terry Rozier, who is fouled with under a second left to play. But hang on, there’s a foul called. We have to check to see if Rozier was fouled by Treveon Graham before the clock expired. Ok, he was indeed fouled. But then, Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce challenges the call, saying Rozier hooked the defender. After further review, yes, Rozier hooked Graham. Offensive foul. Hawks have the ball now. They inbound it to Trae Young whooooooooo misses the floater. It took maybe five minutes for less than a second to run off the clock.
The Hawks take the lead thanks to a deep Trae Young three and later extend their lead thanks to a nifty pass by Young, who found a cutting Cam Reddish for the dunk as the shot clock was about to expire. And on the next play, Rozier ties it by sinking a three with Reddish right in his grill.
The Hawks bring the ball up with 24.7 seconds to go. Kevin Huerter is pushing the pace before passing to an open De’andre Hunter in the corner. Hunter shoots – NO! – and his shot is blocked but there is a foul. Hunter goes to the charity stripe and sinks the first. He connects on the second. OH, BUT THEN HE… hits the third.
We have 13.3 seconds left. Rozier misses the three, Hawks get the rebound, sprint up the court, and draw the foul. The Hornets are over the limit. Reddish goes to the line, ices it, and ball game. Never a doubt, not a single one.
One day I’ll probably vent here about how ridiculous the system of tanking is but today is not that day. Today we bask in the glory that is the race to the bottom.
Recapping Last Night
Hawks won ✅
Hornets lost ✅
Nuggets won ✅
Jazz won ❌
Great night for the tank. GREAT night. And sure, the Jazz may have lost, but the Raptors winning means they’re now 2.5 games ahead of the Clippers in the standings. I give this night a 9/10.
I can’t emphasize enough how important that Hawks win was. Making up two games would be possible, but now only having to make up one game, with New York playing the second night of a back-to-back in Atlanta on Wednesday? Life gets just a little easier.
Also, I’m going to do something new and take a screenshot of the end of the first round too. This way, you can follow how the Clippers pick is doing.
One game separates the Clippers, Nuggets, and Celtics from finishing with the 25th overall pick. Additionally, 2.5 games separate the Clippers from being tied for 28th and being tied for 23rd. Buckle up, buckaroo (NSFW).
Sim of the Day
Knicks drop a spot. I cursed it, ladies and gentlemen. I said yesterday that the Knicks haven’t moved up or down by less than two. Well, now they have. On the bright side, New York could have fallen by two, or three, or four.
Average pick: 4.3
Average jump/fall: 0.6
Cavaliers vs. Bulls
Cleveland is on a two-game winning streak! Look at that! The Bulls, meanwhile, have lost five of their last six games.
Who we want to win: Doesn’t matter
Our first “Doesn’t matter” of the year! I love these games because the Knicks need both of these teams to lose. If New York loses to the Wizards and Cleveland beats Chicago, the Knicks and Cavs are tied with the Bulls a game back. If the Knicks lose and the Bulls beat the Cavs, there’s some breathing room between the Knicks and the Bulls.
Really, when you consider that one of these teams has to lose, it’s truly in New York’s best interests to lose to the Wizards. But that’s none of my business.
Timberwolves vs. Rockets
It would appear that the Knicks have ruined the Rockets, as Houston is on a four-game losing streak that started at MSG. The Wolves are, well, the Wolves.
Who we want to win: Timberwolves
Knowing New York’s luck, the Rockets will snap their losing streak against Minnesota because the Knicks need the Wolves to win. Knicks fans need the Wolves to win more than they need the Rockets to try and catch the Clippers.
Clippers vs. Warriors
Who we want to win:
Hehe. Go Warriors for obvious reasons.