When you do season previews for all 30 NBA teams, not every question is a nuanced, open debate.
— Fox Doucette 🏀🍳🥓🥞 (@RealFoxD) September 6, 2018
Man, where do we even start with this? Well, let’s start at the beginning.
2017-18 Record: 29-53
2018-19 Over/Under: 29.5 Wins
The elephant in the room: Kristaps Porzingis won’t be back until at least February—and there’s plenty of good reason to suspect that unless the Knicks massively overachieve, the team might just decide at All-Star time that the Latvian unicorn would do better to just stay healthy as they punt the season and shut him down.
After all, the league may have put protections in place to disincentivize tanking, but until the day where the lottery based on record is completely abolished, there will always be at least a little incentive to race to the bottom.
And if you think this isn’t a giant setup to ensure that sportswriters come draft time don’t use it as an excuse to make Cool Hand Luke references (“…which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it! I don’t like it any more than you men”) at the expense of Knicks fans and team management, you haven’t been paying attention.
Long story short, Porzingis is the only even mid-tier talent (whether he’s a true star is a story for another day) on that whole vile roster, and he’s out for no less than 50 games.
Seriously, What Even Is This Roster
Frank Ntilikina is supposed to be getting better this year—it is his second in the league, after all—but he had negative win shares in 2018. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get negative win shares on an NBA roster?
That’s right…he was dead last in the entire league.
Emmanuel Mudiay had minus-2.0 WS in his rookie year, and he’s on the Knicks now.
This is a spectacular collection of G-League talent, and that’s an insult to the G-League. This is the least talent-rich team quite possibly in all of first-division worldwide professional sports.
How does this roster even win 15 games, never mind 30?
Seriously, What Is This Even
Knicks with Porzingis, 2017-18: 22-26 (38-44 pace)
Knicks without Porzingis, 2017-18: 7-27 (17-65 pace)
See where this is going?
The Knicks suck. They suck like few teams not deliberately trying to be the suckiest team that ever sucked have sucked. An injury to anyone on that team with a shred of talent and they will be 2012 Bobcats or 1973 Sixers bad.
All I have to do in order to hit the mark at the end of the season is get the over/under right, and I’m saying Under.
But hot take alert: The Knicks won’t win their 10th game of the season until after the All-Star break. This one is as Busted as Porzingis’ knee ligament.