Tank Talk – March 3rd

Yesterday, I told you I was rooting for the Rockets. Today, I tell you I’m glad the Knicks won.

Don’t get me wrong, the Knicks are still in an extremely precarious spot. Tanking may not matter as much but it still matters. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it now, and I’ll say it a million times between now and May: the reason the Knicks would benefit from losing is because it reduces the risk of falling as opposed to drastically increasing the odds of moving up. 

Last night felt different due to the team playing the youth, and in clutch situations, no less. This wasn’t four players with no future in New York and RJ Barrett on the floor when things matter. We saw Barrett be lethal in the first quarter and then be a bully late in the game, Mitchell Robinson generate instant offense to start the game en route to a double-double and playing key defense in the last minute or so of play, and Frank Ntilikina being a defensive pest (all ball on that Russell Westbrook foul by the way) and scoring double digits for the second time in three games played. All three players logged 30, 24, and 29 minutes, respectively.

How can you be mad that those three were on the court when the game mattered most and it led to a win? Even with Wayne Ellington and Bobby Portis scoring in bunches, their play (well, Ellington’s for the most part) made the players around them better. Remember, this team was never going 0-22. Maybe now they can go 22-0 instead.

Last night was fun. Maybe this game screws the Knicks over in the lottery but we can’t really point to one game and say “That’s the reason the Knicks got screwed.” For all we know, Tim Hardaway Jr. misses against the Magic, the Knicks finish with the worst record, wind up picking third, and draft Jahlil Okafor. There’s enough time anyway for the Knicks to ensure they fall no further than seventh or eighth.

Recapping Last Night

Knicks won ❌

Cavs lost ❌

Hawks lost ❌

Heat won ✅

Bulls won ✅

All in all, a very meh night for the tank. I’d give it a 4/10.

Tank Standings

Sim of the Day

Average pick: 4

Average jump/fall: 0.5

Oh look, the Pistons are right behind the Knicks and get the first pick while the Knicks drop two spots. Yay.

Games Tonight

Spurs vs. Hornets

Spurs lost to the Pacers last night and the Hornets had a day off.

Who we want to win: Hornets

This is a fun one because I go back and forth on the Hornets constantly. On one hand, each Hornets win helps the Knicks avoid falling too far in the pre-seeded lottery. On the other hand, each Hornets win hurts Charlotte’s second round pick, which is owned by the Knicks.

The smart play here is to root for the Hornets to win. The dropoff in talent after five compared to after nine, for example, is historically quite big. Compare that to the dropoff between the 35th pick and the 39th pick, and, well, there’s really no reason to compare it.

If the Hornets win, that’s ok. If the Hornets lose, that’s ok. Unless the Knicks go on an epic losing streak or have solidified their place in the pre-lottery standings, I’m going to generally be ambivalent about Hornets games.

Timberwolves vs. Pelicans

The Wolves are bad and without Karl-Anthony Towns (so maybe they’ll actually be okay, at least defensively?). The Pelicans are good and have Zion Williamson.

Who we want to win: Timberwolves

This is pretty evident. Don’t think I need to elaborate on games like this one moving forward tbqh.

Clippers vs. Thunder

Clippers came back to beat the Sixers this past Sunday, which was annoying. The Thunder lost to the Bucks by a cool 47.

Who we want to win: Thunder

#NeverClippers (unless they’re playing more important teams in regards to the tank).

Warriors vs. Nuggets

Both teams are 1-1 in their last two. The chaos!

Who we want to win: Warriors

This is basically the same as the Timberwolves, except I care more about the Wolves winning because the Knicks can actually catch them in the standings.

Raptors vs. Suns

The Raptors are on a three-game skid. Meanwhile, the Suns are… also on a three-game skid. Something something two objects in motion hurtling towards each other.

Who we want to win: Raptors

Toronto is only a game ahead of the Clippers in the standings. Need the Raptors to beat the Valley Boyz.

Sixers vs. Lakers

The Sixers are half deceased and the Lakers just won a fantastic game in Nawlins.

Who we want to win: Sixers, I guess

They’re unlikely to catch the Clippers (4.5 games out) and their two best players are injured. This really doesn’t matter much. I’ll probably stop including games featuring teams playing each other who are both too high and/or too low regarding the Clippers pick.

Wizards vs. Kings

Both these teams are mediocre but the Kings have won five of their last six. It’s late. I’m tired. You don’t really care about this game. If you say you do, you’re just lying to me and to yourself.

Who we want to win: Wizards

Washington is 1.5 games ahead of the Hornets for 10th place in the tank standings. Need to ensure that the Hornets pick doesn’t lose value.

On This Date: Knicks fire Al Bianchi and hire Dave Checketts

March 2nd 1991: Knicks fire Al Bianchi and hire Dave Checketts

In one of the most pivotal moves for the organization heading into the 1990s, the Knicks fired General Manager Al Bianchi and hired Dave Checketts as President of Basketball Operations. The firing was part of an overall organizational change within Madison Square Garden, the Knicks, and the New York Rangers.

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Tank Talk – March 2nd

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.

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On This Date: Patrick Ewing’s number retired and Anthony Mason passes away

February 28th 2003: Patrick Ewing’s number retired

Patrick Ewing’s number 33 was finally retired on this date in Madison Square Garden. The Knicks have not retired another number since this date. The ceremony was conducted during halftime of the matchup between the Knicks and the Magic. Marv Albert was the MC of the event.

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On This Date: Mr Big Shot strikes in Miami and Ewing returns to MSG

February 27th 2011: Chauncey Billups strikes against the Miami Heat

Mr. Big Shot1 struck again, this time with the Knicks, on a 91-86 nationally televised victory against the Miami Heat in Florida.

Billups scored 16 points, but it was his clutch go-ahead three over Dwyane Wade with just over a minute remaining that made the difference in the Knicks thrilling victory. On the next possession, Billups stole a pass from Chris Bosh that led to two free throws for Shawne Williams.

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On This Date: Melo’s first game as a Knick

February 23rd 2011: Melo’s first game as a Knick

Carmelo Anthony’s first game in the Knick uniform was majestic. MSG network heavily promoted the game with a riveting commercial incorporating quotes from Melo stating how he was born in Brooklyn, NY and idolized Bernard King. The commercial used the intro from the song “I’m Coming Home” by Diddy (with the group Dirty Money) & Skylar Grey.

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On This Date: Knicks trade Rod Strickland

February 21st 1990: Knicks trade Rod Strickland for Mo Cheeks

Weeks after sophomore PG, and NY native, Rod Strickland demanded a trade due to lack of playing time, the Knicks obliged and dealt him to the San Antonio Spurs for Mo Cheeks.

The NY tandem of Mark Jackson and Hot Rod did not have a long lifespan. Despite playing well in his rookie season under Rick Pitino, the slow-paced offense run under Stu Jackson wasn’t conducive for a two-PG tandem that were both talented and hungry for minutes. Additionally, Coach Jackson often benched Hot Rod due to his lack of defense.

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On This Date: Tracy McGrady’s first game as a Knick

February 20th 2010: Tracy McGrady scores 26 points in his Knicks debut

Tracy McGrady had an auspicious debut with the Knicks, scoring 26 points in a 121-118 overtime loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, & James Harden. T-Mac scored 19 in the 1st half and had 24 points with nearly 8 minutes left in the 3rd.

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On This Date: Linsanity hits Toronto

February 14th 2012: Linsanity strikes in Toronto

On Valentine’s Day in 2012, Jeremy Lin gave Knicks fans more reasons to love him with a dagger three-point shot to defeat Jose Calderon and the Toronto Raptors 90-87 in the Air Canada Centre.

Lin had a double double with 27 points and 11 assists, but the most important shot was the final one that broke the hearts of Raptors fans. After Tyson Chandler grabbed an Iman Shumpert missed jumpshot, Lin received the ball for the final shot. Lin organized right around halfcourt as Calderon retreated past the three-point line expecting Lin to drive to the basket. Instead, Lin stepped ahead to hit the dagger three.

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On This Date: Eddy Curry hits game-winning alley-oop to beat the Lakers

February 13th 2007: Eddy Curry hits a game-winning alley-oop to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in the Staples Center

The Knicks pulled off a surprising 107-106 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers, courtesy of an Eddy Curry alley-oop. After David Lee secured the offensive rebound with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation, he fed a pass to Jamal Crawford. Crawford drove into the lane and floated an alley-oop pass over Andrew Bynum to Curry for the go-ahead dunk. Spike Lee was in attendance (wearing a Nate Robinson jersey) and taunted fellow Lakers fan Denzel Washington after the Knicks took the lead and the victory. The victory in Los Angeles was a rare sight as the team normally struggled there during most of Kobe Bryant’s tenure with the organization.

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On This Date: Knicks defeat the Spurs in Spree’s return to MSG

February 12th 2017: Latrell Sprewell and James Dolan bury the hatchet as the Knicks defeat the Spurs

The Knicks snapped a 4-game losing streak with a 94-90 victory against the San Antonio Spurs on a nationally televised broadcast. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 25 points (including 3 three-pointers), 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. Kristaps Porzingis scored 16 points and blocked 4 shots. Willy Hernangomez made his second start of the season and had 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals. Willy’s minutes increased steadily after a shoulder injury sidelined Noah for the remainder of the season.

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On This Date: David Lee chosen as NBA All-Star

February 11th 2010: David Lee is selected to the NBA All-Star Game.  

David Lee made his first NBA All-Star Game (and first Knick since the 2000-01 season) when he was chosen to replace Allen Iverson. Iverson received the most votes of all Eastern Conference guards despite averaging career lows in every statistical category and missing most of the month of November after refusing to take a bench role for the Memphis Grizzlies. Iverson chose not to attend the All-Star game to deal with his daughter’s illness.

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On This Date: Linsanity Part 3: Lin scores 38 to defeat the Lakers

February 10th 2012: Jeremy Lin scores 38 points to defeat Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers

On a Friday night nationally televised broadcast that would have originally featured Kobe Bryant against the duo of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, Linsanity stole the show once again and shocked the Lakers with a 92-85 victory. With both Melo and Amare inactive, it was Lin who scored a then-career high 38 points to lead the team.

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On This Date: Knicks trade Willy Hernangomez

February 7th 2018:  The New York Knicks trade Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets

The Knicks traded Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets for Johnny O’Bryant and two 2nd round picks in 2020 and 2021. Willy requested a trade a few days earlier after being stuck on the bench behind both Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn. To add insult to injury, the trade occurred only a day before Kristaps Porzingis, Willy’s friend dating back to the Sevilla days, tore his ACL. The Knicks immediately cut O’Bryant, who’s now playing for Lokomotiv Kuban of the VTB United League.

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On This Date: Knicks break 15 game road losing streak

February 5, 1985: Knicks beat the Sonics on the road to break a 15-game road losing streak

In the midst of a tough 6-game road trip, with the first five games on the road, the Knicks snapped a 15-game road losing streak with a 110-108 victory against the Seattle Supersonics. Bernard King led the way for the Knicks with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists. King scored 14 in the 1st half and scored 12 points in the final 8 minutes of the 4th quarter to help win the game. Additionally, Darrell Walker, future Knick assistant coach, had 18 points and 8 assists and made crucial defensive stops in the clutch.

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#KnicksTakes: Trading Marcus Morris

There’s always something to talk about when it comes to the New York Knicks. Even when they’re boring, just quietly going about their business, people find a way to reach for that controversial Knicks’ take.

This is not that.

#KnicksTakes aims to address the most worthwhile Knicks issues, conversations, and debates, and today, with the deadline around the corner, we’re talking Marcus Morris and TRADE SEASON.

Most fans agree that over the next couple of weeks, we need to make moves for the short and long term betterment of the franchise. Who are the prime trade candidates? Allonzo Trier is on the outs; Dennis Smith, Jr. needs another reboot; Taj Gibson’s recent scoring outburst has increased his value; Reggie Bullock’s return might have a contender or two after his shooting…but the hottest trade candidate on the roster by far is Marcus Morris.

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On This Date: Knicks beat Kings without King

January 31st 1983: The New York Knicks, sans Bernard King, beat the Kansas City Kings

The New York Knicks routed the Kansas City Kings 114-97 despite the fact that Bernard King was inactive due to a sprained right ankle and Trent Tucker was held scoreless. 4 of the 5 starters scored at least 18 points to propel the team to victory. Power Forward Truck Robinson led the way with 21 points and had 5 assists. Paul Westphal shined on both the offensive and defensive end with 18 points, 6 assists, and 6 steals. Bill Cartwright had a double double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Louis Orr replaced King in the starting lineup and scored 20 points.

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On This Date: Knicks acquire Othella Harrington

January 30, 2001: Knicks acquire Othella Harrington from the Vancouver Grizzlies

The Knicks had large shoes to fill in replacing their franchise player Patrick Ewing, shoes that would remain empty for a long time. But on this date, they acquired another former Hoya in Othella Harrington from Vancouver in exchange for Erick Strickland, the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers 1st round pick acquired in the Patrick Ewing trade (Jamaal Tinsley), and a 2001 2nd round pick (Antonis Fotsis). Harrington (turning 27 years old the next day) was not the most talented Hoya, but was a serviceable big man who provided necessary front-court depth for the Knicks.

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On This Date: Knicks make statement in victory against the Seattle Supersonics

January 29, 1994: The New York Knicks make a statement to the #1 seed Seattle Supersonics in a road victory

The New York Knicks, in the middle of a three-game West Coast trip, sent a strong message to the #1 seed Seattle Supersonics with a 106-92 victory. Seven players scored in double figures, including the entire starting lineup, led by Patrick Ewing’s 21 points and 18 rebounds. Anthony Mason scored 17 points off the bench and Charles Oakley had a double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Despite trailing 58-51 at the end of the 1st half, the Knicks went on a 21-5 run in the 3rd quarter and outscored the Sonics 32-13 to take a 12 point lead heading into the 4th quarter.

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What he Meant to Me

by Kris Pursiainen

Anybody who knows me is aware of how much space in my heart is taken up by basketball, and that space will forever be home to his legacy and my memories of it. This has certainly been reflected in my actions relating to him: endless debates about him and other all-timers with friends fueled by his greatness; asking for his gold jersey for Christmas eight years ago; practicing his signature post-fadeaway jump shot every time I had a ball in my hands; loudly exclaiming his name every time I’ve sent something soaring at a trash can.

I may be only 17 years old, but the impact he has had on my life is more than apparent. It is just over 24 hours after the news of his death, but the event doesn’t feel real in my head: it can’t possibly be real. It’s a tragedy by definition, and one that affects millions of people. My words here can only hope to capture my true thoughts on his legacy. 

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Remembering a Legend

I have a confession: When I was a kid, I started out as a Lakers fan. My parents aren’t exactly sports fans so I was left to forge my own path. And while I eventually let geography dictate my fandom, the Lakers provided the foundation for a love of a sport that would only intensify over time. 

Everyone has a favorite Kobe memory. Mine? The second game I ever saw in-person was Kobe and Shaq at the Garden.2 The one memory I’ve retained from that game, other than the 104-83 drubbing, is Kobe hitting a mid-range jumper and jogging up the court. It was so easy and… effortless. And sure, many other more iconic memories come to mind, but that memory was iconic to me.

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On This Date: Jamal Crawford scores a career high 52 points

January 26, 2007: Jamal Crawford scores a career high 52 points against the Miami Heat

In one of a few bright spots of the 2006-07 season, Jamal Crawford exploded for a career high 52 points in a 20-point blowout against the Miami Heat in Madison Square Garden. Crawford was unstoppable from the field, hitting 20-30 from the field and 8-10 from three.

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On This Date: Anucha Browne Sanders files lawsuit against the Knicks

January 25, 2006: Anucha Browne Sanders files sexual harassment lawsuit against the New York Knicks

In one of the darkest moments in Knicks history, former Knicks executive Anucha Browne Sanders filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Isiah Thomas, James Dolan, & Madison Square Garden. The suit claimed a combination of sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, & wrongful termination.

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