I’ve avoided this for so long. I ignored it like a ne’er-do-well roommate, years behind on his rent but always at the forefront of craft IPA and porter trends that cost more than a cigarette addiction in New York City. Speaking of, the apple has truly gone rotten in Madison Square Garden, as your New York Knickerbockers have plummeted to a new low. “But the cap space!” you say. I know. I know. It’s always the cap space, until it’s not. Elsewhere, the best team in the Eastern Conference (which is sort of like being the best dissenter in a Soviet gulag, but still) is up for sale, and the Pistons bring new meaning to the phrase “addition by subtraction.”
1. *Powerful, steady exhale while staring directly into the sun* The Knicks are bad. Really bad:
That’s right. The Knicks now have bag men. And not the good kind of bag men, the kind who help you win. They’ve already got one of those in James Dolan, who likes to hand his sacks of cash to the likes of Ronaldo Balkman and Shandon Anderson. These Knicks, these terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad Knicks, might actually, sort of have a plan (?). I am forced to believe in Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher and the △.
After starting the season with playoff hopes built on a re-constructed, de-constructed roster and the near-max contract of Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks have slowly descended to the pits of man’s fears. At 5-34, they are literally the worst team in the league. They are worse than the misanthropic Kobe Baked Bean Bryant and his band of misfit Puddlers. They are worse than a team which reputedly tried to install 4-on-5 defensive tactics at the behest of its owner, the Sacramento Kings. They are worse even than the Philadelphia 76ers, a team which is explicitly trying to lose (Fact: both the Knicks and Sixers have beaten the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, which is both hilarious and stupid).
To conclude, another self-made Vine of my television and the cheap speakers I bought from my brother which is explicitly NOT a Spike Lee Joint:
2. The Atlanta Hawks are up for sale, right when they’re the Beast of the East: At 27-8, and having won nine of their last ten games, the Atlanta Hawks are in an incredible position which most would not have predicted before the season. Atlanta is top ten in the league in points per game and assists per game and are third in points allowed per game. Jeff Teague is playing out of his mind, and Paul Millsap is doing mini-LaMarcus Aldridge work. The Hawks just had Swipe Right Night, using Tinder as a springboard for eliciting the interest of younger fans. Everything is going up in A-Town.
Which makes this the perfect time to sell the team. The team’s owners, Bruce Levenson and Ed Peskowitz, approved a plan to sell their shares in the Hawks, who expect to remain in Atlanta. Levenson and Peskowitz have previously tried to sell the team, and with league interest and revenues at an all-time high, ownership in an NBA franchise is one of the better investments billionaires can make in 2015.
3. All hail the Josh Smith-less Detroit Pistons, slayers of the world and vigilantes for justice: Since cutting ties with troubled and expensive forward Josh Smith on December 22nd, the Pistons are winners of seven straight, including victories against the Spurs, Mavericks and Cavaliers. Stan Van Gundy’s squad has more than doubled its win total from when Smith was in the lineup, with Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Brandon Jennings all seeming to step up their games recently.
With the prospect of an undefeated 2015 staring them in the face, the question stands: will the Pistons ever lose again? Their next test comes, fortuitously with regard to this column, against the aforementioned Atlanta Hawks. The strategy is simple: