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TANK WATCH 3/19: Back-to-back tank battle for the ages

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This is no game for amateurs. On second thought, some amateurs would be nice.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

We're through the looking glass, people.

Knicks fans around the world are experiencing a major existential crisis (very normal) because their team is winning too much (extremely not normal). New York has won an unacceptable two of their last four, and the plummeting Minnesota Timberwolves have pulled even in the race for the league's worst record.

Here's how things currently stand, courtesy of Tankathon:

And the Knicks couldn't have picked a worse time to finally discover competence. They're on the verge of a two-game, back-to-back stretch that could very well decide the tank race: Thursday night vs. Minnesota and Friday night at Philly. Let's break 'em down:

Knicks vs. Wolves (Thursday night at MSG)

Minnesota is a jerk-ass state filled with jerks. They whine about never winning the lottery, despite the fact that they currently employ the last two No. 1 overall picks. They've had eight top-five picks since the Knicks last found themselves in such company...hell, they didn't even exist the last time New York snagged a top-five pick. Why should they get to keep choosing so high? It's not the Knicks' fault that they suck at picking players!

Worse, the Minnesota fans are irritatingly cocky about their team's chances to finish at the bottom of the standings. And they have good reason to be. The Wolves' whole damn roster is injured. Nikola Pekovic, Gary Neal, Justin Hamilton and Kevin Garnett are all listed as questionable. Even now, that rat bastard KG is finding ways to hurt the Knicks.

Your biggest fear for Thursday night should be the possibility of an Alexey Shved Revenge Game (that doesn't actually count as revenge). Pistol Piotr was horrible in his two years in Minnesota, and now he's doing things like consistently beating Kawhi Leonard off the dribble. And Wolves fans couldn't be happier; as far as they're concerned, Shved is finally making a contribution to their team.

This sucks, y'all. I hate the fact that Shved will probably put up a 25/8/7 and the other team will laugh all the way to the bank. Tanking was much more fun when all the players were absolutely horrible all the time.

Knicks vs. Sixers (Friday night at Philly)

Now here is a game the Knicks could actually lose! The Sixers have been playing tank-averse basketball as well over the past few weeks, and have fallen two games ahead of New York in the all-important win column. Rookie Nerlens Noel has been quite impressive of late, and the Knicks don't have a big man with the kind of athleticism to stop him...

...what's that? Noel hurt his foot Wednesday night? And Shved played for the Sixers as well...more Shved revenge games?

The Knicks are gonna win out! Everybody panic!