In what Howard Cosell would describe a “study of futility”, the two worst teams in the NBA met and the Phoenix Suns defeated the New York Knicks 107-96.
The Knicks (13-52) have the worst record in the NBA. The Suns (15-51) are the worst team in the Western Conference and hold the second-worst record in the NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers (16-49), the third-worst team, are picking up the pieces after LeBron James bolted for the LA Lakers.
The three bottom teams this season all have an equal 14 percent chance of landing the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Zion Williamson from Duke is projected to be the number one pick. He scared many Knicks fans when he injured his knee due to a freak sneaker explosion against North Carolina two weeks ago.
The Suns are on the best streak of the season with three consecutive wins and four wins in their last five games. They recently turned heads when they beat the Greek Freak and the Milwaukee Bucks for a second time this season.
The Suns best player is Devin Booker, who they drafted out of Kentucky with the 13th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Booker lit up the Knicks for a season-high 41 points. He drilled six three-pointers and finished the night with 14-for-23 from the field. Booker leads the Suns in scoring with 24.9 points and 6.6 assists per game.
DeAndre Jordan, acquired in a trade from the Dallas Mavericks for Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks with 19 points. Dennis Smith, Jr. added 17 points. Knicks head coach David Fizdale could not find anyone who could play defense against a red-hot Booker.
“We tried everything,” said Fizdale. “We tried trapping him, we tried switching against him. One of those threes he hit, he was standing next to me on the sidelines about 30 feet out.”
West Coast Meh
The Knicks looked like they might have finally found some rhythm after winning two games in a row. Theier streak ended. The Knicks have lost five in a row since then, including all three games on a west coast trip. The losing streak started with an embarrassing loss at home at Madison Square Garden.
The game against the Suns was a perfect slumpbuster for the Knicks after back-to-back losses to the LA Clippers and the young and fun Sacramento Kings.
“Two desperados, fighting for crumbs on the table. That’s really what it is,” said Fizdale.
The Suns prevailed and the Knicks couldn’t stop Devin Booker. Their skid continued at five games and counting.
The Knicks are the most-valued franchise in the NBA according to Forbes. Owner James Dolan had offers for $5 billion to sell the Knicks, even though Forbes valued the worst-team in the NBA at $4 billion. Fans are hoping the Knicks can attract high-priced free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The Knicks have plenty of cap space after trading away the Unicorn to the Dallas Mavericks. Then again, most Knicks fans feel the team is cursed and this offseason will be nothing but disappointment.