New York Knicks fans have a scroll a quarter-mile long inked with reasons they should be mad with their front office.
“Losing,” “trading away key players” and “failing to land support for Carmelo Anthony” are high on that list, but these gripes were temporarily shelved.
Most Knicks faithful accepted early on in the 2014-15 season that New York had to wallow as deeply in the muck as possible this year to secure the best odds at a high lottery pick. They would trust in the system and stomach the losses in the name of future success, like any other fanbase along for the tank blitz.
In exchange for their suffering, all Knicks fans wanted in return was strong, effective tanking. Somehow, the team has managed to disappoint them in this venture, derailing their fail-to-win plan with a two-game winning streak in the final gasps of the season.
After beating the Orlando Magic 80-79 on Saturday, New York dealt a 112-108 loss to an indifferent Atlanta Hawks squad Monday night. The victory over Atlanta gave the Knicks their 17th win of the season, handing the keys to the NBA sub-basement to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Considering Minnesota's final game will come Wednesday against an Oklahoma City Thunder squad playing for its postseason life, it’s probably safe to say New York has effectively won its way out of pole position in the NBA draft.
The significance of the win wasn’t lost on head coach Derek Fisher, who recognized that beating Atlanta probably upset some Knicks fans.
Fisher was only partially correct. Beating Atlanta ticked off most Knicks fans:
By beating Atlanta, the Knicks could potentially fall to the sixth position in the NBA draft, depending on how things pan out.
I’m so sorry, Knicks fans. It used to be fun laughing at your pain. It isn’t anymore. There is no joy in watching a team that used to be a delightful heel contort itself in every which way, struggling for air and opening its mouth only to swallow another giant clod of dirt.
On the bright side, some of your young players are developing nicely. Langston Galloway was 6-of-6 from deep against Atlanta and is coming into his own as a versatile playmaker on a team (ultimately) in need of new weapons.
Sure, Derek Fisher should've confined Galloway to a broom closet after halftime, but still, kid can play.
Dan is on Twitter. The good news is the Cavs will somehow receive the first pick anyway.