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Don’t worry, Spike Lee: Knicks’ tank is unstoppable

We have that and more in Monday’s NBA newsletter.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks beat the Spurs in New York on Sunday, winning at the Garden for the first time since Dec. 1. (It’ll be March next week.) It was only the Knicks’ second win overall since Jan. 4.

This is all to say that these random, surprising wins aren’t a big deal even as the Knicks aim their rays toward the top of the NBA Draft lottery. Knicks fans can remain content in knowing this race to the bottom is in hand.

Knicks superfan Spike Lee won a major Oscar for the first time ever on Sunday, and as he arrived on stage to accept the award, Sam Jackson yelled to him that the Knicks won, to which Spike replied “we’re trying to tank!” Just a perfectly Knicksian moment.

But again, this is not a big deal. The Knicks now have 12 wins, one more than the 11-win Suns and two fewer than the 14-win Cavaliers. The three worst teams will have equal odds in the lottery. So the Knicks would need to fall (rise?) to the fourth spot in the reverse standings to suffer for wins. The Bulls are there now with 16 wins. (They haven’t lost since the All-Star break.)

Are the Knicks capable of winning five more games than the Bulls the rest of the way? Are the Knicks capable of winning five more games this season? There are 22 games left. New York has won five games in its last 37 ... and that included a chunk of time before they traded Tim Hardaway Jr., who was their most productive player. It’s fine. The Knicks are truly too bad to blow this now.


Magic 113, Raptors 98
Clippers 96, Nuggets 123
Spurs 118, Knicks 130


All times Eastern. Games on League Pass unless otherwise noted.

Warriors at Hornets, 7
Blazers at Cavaliers, 7
Pacers at Pistons, 7
Spurs at Nets, 7:30
Suns at Heat, 7:30
Bucks at Bulls, 8
Hawks at Rockets, 8
Lakers at Grizzlies, 8
Sixers at Pelicans, 8, NBA TV
Mavericks at Clippers, 10:30, NBA TV


Paul Flannery nailed his Sunday Shootaround piece on the NBA’s obsession with off-court drama and how certain strains really are just bulls--t sometimes.

Uh, the Lakers are now three games out of the playoffs. Time to panic. LeBron thinks the team is comfortable with losing, which would make sense because that’s all the franchise has done for like five and a half years now.

REWINDER on the infamous Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals.

Top European teams are starting to threaten their domestic leagues that they’ll leave and just play in the Euroleague full-time.

Paul George on Friday night in OKC vs. Utah was some superhero stuff.

The Worst Playoff Game Ever, one I remember well. I’d nominate 2009 NBA Finals Game 7 too, though.

The Knicks are blaming Fortnite for all the losses, so Knicks fans should be thanking Fortnite, it seems.

Ricky O’Donnell nails it: in the wake of his shoe bursting at the seams, Zion Williamson should do whatever he wants.

Jason Gay on the Sports Franchise Owner God Complex.

Space Jam 2 has a release date.

Zion will play whatever position he wants in the NBA.

Longtime Magic voice David Steele reflects on watching Orlando basketball for 30 years.

LOL I was mostly joking when I was calling All-Star Weekend LeBron’s Tamper Fest 2019 but LeBron and Anthony Davis actually filmed an episode of The Shop in Charlotte. LeBron is just taunting the Pelicans and frankly the NBA.

The Warriors really don’t care about the regular season (except when they clearly do). Meanwhile, Chris Paul was awful salty after the Rockets without James Harden beat Golden State Saturday night.

Alex Wong on the role of T.V. sports anchors when highlights are on tiny computers in our pockets.

It seems like the Clippers may not have been entirely honest when starting the process to get a new arena in Inglewood a couple blocks from the still-functioning Forum.

25 thoughts and predictions for the rest of the Mavericks’ season.

And finally: Ja Rule’s halftime performance during Wolves vs. Bucks the other night was straight Fyre.

Be excellent to each other.