The New York Knicks are a joke.
I know, you thought you already knew that? The supposedly-storied franchise that hasn’t won a title in 44 years. The team where the owner and the de-facto general manager and the star player aren’t so much not on the same page but in separate libraries. The club where legends of the past end up escorted forcibly from the building rather than ushered into the VIP lounge.
Yup, your Knicks, Ladies and Gentlemen. If the Twitter feud/misunderstanding between Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony wasn’t enough of a cabaret act, then the removal and arrest of Charles Oakley during Wednesday’s loss to the LA Clippers elevated the scene to a circus. Dysfunction rules OK?
And for all talk of insulation from the mess, the winds of disorder are spilling neatly onto the court as the Denver Nuggets prepare to visit Madison Square Garden on Friday.
New York have lost 13 out of their last 18 games (only their cross-river chums in Brooklyn are worse) and are now 25th in the NBA in points allowed with a horrific 109.0 per game.
That’s come from holding opponents to less than 100 points on just eight occasions with Anthony a defensive deadweight while on the floor when the Knicks give up over 110 points per 100 possessions more than when he is on the bench. Going over 232.5 total points tonight at 2.40 is worth a punt.
Even 29 points from the not-this-year All Star couldn’t stop New York from losing 127-114 to his former team in December but back then, their record was a respectable 14-13. Since dropping below .500 on New Year’s Eve, it’s been downhill all the way – and worse is set to come.
On Sunday, they host the consistent San Antonio Spurs, and then there is a seven-game stretch that includes Oklahoma City, Toronto, Philadelphia and Golden State.
If the pressure is escalating on Jackson to find a trade out for Anthony, then for everyone else, the burden is growing. The season will soon, surely, be written off and that’s a script that’s got no-one in NYC laughing.
Best bet: Take Denver by -4.5 against New York at 2.95
While the Spurs by -12.5 over the Knicks is a decent Sunday shout, then taking the Chicago Bulls to go on a roll at the Minnesota Timberwolves could pay off.
The T-Wolves have currently dropped four of five while Chicago’s offense has picked up, averaging 111 per over their last seven despite some downtime for Jimmy Butler, and they have the capacity to push up the points tally.