Are the New York Knicks secretly tanking?
The Knicks roster is not great by any means. I did pick them to make into the playoffs this season but tanking would be even better. Instead of taking the Sixers approach they decided to go with the Lakers approach of trying but not really trying.
Just think about it for a second, Carmelo Anthony leaves the game early against the Rockets with back spasms. In the next game the Knicks put up a great effort against the high scoring Mavericks to force OT on the road and lose by seven.
J.R. Smith starts the game, plays 36 minutes and takes 20 shots. With Thanksgiving off and a game on Friday the Knicks go into Oklahoma City and lose by 27 points. Smith plays 22 minutes and takes only nine shots.
We don’t know if it will be a season-long issue for Melo who is already dealing with a sore left knee. He might play some games and miss others.
The Knicks have their own draft pick this year so missing the playoffs and getting into the lottery could benefit them. A high draft pick presents so many options for the Knicks. They could keep it or trade it for an asset.
They will have some money next season and will be looking to add some firepower around Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks haven’t had a top 10 draft pick since 2009 when they selected Jordan Hill. They needed a guard that year and passed up on guys like DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson and Jeff Teague.
There are some talented kids that will enter the draft in June; including Jahlil Okafor, Karl Towns, Emmanuel Mudiay and Kristaps Porzingis.
The Knicks are 4-13 and they have a tough December schedule. Two games against the Blazers, on the road against the Kings, Clippers, Spurs and Bulls. Tough home games against the Raptors, Cavaliers, Wizards and Mavericks.
Maybe the Carmelo injury is a blessing in disguise for the Knicks. A top five pick in the NBA draft could go a long-way to helping the Knicks turn things around sooner rather than later.