The Knicks, lest we forget, once were dubbed by their point guard as a ‘Super Team.’
The Nets, on the other hand, might’ve been confused with a ‘D-League team.’
So it was a little off-putting that New York, reeling down the stretch of this unforgettably dysfunctional season, lost twice to their borough neighbor in less than a week.
Just when you thought this couldn’t get any more embarrassing.
“A team like that, you look at the roster, they shouldn’t be in the gym with us,” Knicks forward Kyle O’Quinn said about the Nets after falling to them Thursday, 121-110. “But it’s March. Anybody can win in March.”
With the defeat, the Knicks (27-42) clinched their fourth consecutive losing season, all during the presidency of Phil Jackson. Carmelo Anthony, who made the playoffs his first 10 seasons in the NBA, is coming to grips with another free summer.
“It’s tough. It’s tough,” Anthony said. “I don’t want to use the word, ‘frustrated,’ but it’s tough to kind of be in that situation. It’s just tough.”
It makes sense at this point for the Knicks to fall in the standings, since they’re 6 1/2 games from the 8th seed in the East and effectively out of the playoff race.
There are Ping Pong balls to capture. But if you thought the losses to Brooklyn on Thursday and Sunday were part of an organizational tank job, think again.
The Knicks continued to trot out their regular starting lineup — minus injured Kristaps Porzingis — and they were blitzed by Brook Lopez (24 points), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (20) and Jeremy Lin (15 points, eight assists).
“We’ll continue to play like we do. If something comes down from management or something happens then we’ll change,” Hornacek said about his rotations. “But, again, I think all of us coaches assume that every guy is going to be back next year — that’s the way you have to approach it. Just trying to do a couple of things now and see if we can build something for next year. They might be in there and it might get down to the end of the season maybe you take those guys out. But for now we’re playing as is.”
It begs the question: have the Knicks quit?
“I can’t speak for everybody, you’re going to have to ask those guys,” said Anthony, who finished with 17 points on just 6 of 18 shooting. “But for me it’s my duty to just — regardless of what’s the situation — just go out there and play and figure it out and try to win. Until they say don’t play no more or limit our minutes or things like that. We still have to go out there and play and finish the season out.”
The game snapped Brooklyn’s 33-game losing streak against Eastern Conference teams on the road, four days after the Nets beat the Knicks at Barclays Center to snap a 16-game losing streak.
The Nets (13-54) are probably going to finish with the NBA’s worst record despite having to swap their pick with the Celtics. Their struggles are no surprise with a roster that includes seven players who were either not in the NBA last season or played part of it in the D-League.
But they were good enough to beat the Knicks, who look like they’ve officially quit on this season. Even the crowd gave up and didn’t boo.
Published at Fri, 17 Mar 2017 05:26:14 +0000