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Knicks 80, Magic 79: Tim Hardaway commits the unforgivable tanking sin

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Ugh, why

Adrock understands
Adrock understands
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

It is important to remember sometimes that the New York Knicks basketball club is staffed with real people -- fallible human beings with their own hopes and dreams. Most of these guys will be free agents at the end of this season, and they are literally playing for their professional livelihoods.

All that being said...dag, y'all couldn't lose just three more measly games?

The Knicks blew a 14-point lead with a wretched fourth quarter, and looked on their way to a miraculous come-from-ahead loss, when the tank fell off the rails thanks to the one man playing tonight with a guaranteed spot on next year's roster. Tim Hardaway Jr. emerged from a yawning void of incompetence at the worst possible time, scoring the team's final seven points as the Knicks held off Orlando for a 80-79 win.

New York came out of the gate on fire, dropping 30 first-quarter points on the home team. We masochistic longtime Knicks fans knew a correction coming...little did we know that we were about to witness history:

The defense was suffocating, but the offense remained tank-tastic enough to keep Orlando in the game until they could get their act together.

And so they did. The Magic caught fire in the fourth on the backs of Nikola Vucevic and Victor Oladipo. The stage was set for a glorious loss. And then Tim. Ugh.

Notes:

-How bad was Hardaway prior to the final two minutes? Try 2-14 from the field with two turnovers, one of which he turned into an and-one layup for Orlando by fouling Tobias Harris on the other end. Fans of the tank, myself included, were begging Tim to take those final shots. Well take them -- and make them -- he did.

My one hope is that Phil Jackson can use these last two minutes of tape as a highlight film to sell Tim to some incompetent GM. Timmy is clutch. He's a killer. He'll get you the buckets you need in the fourth quarter. So pleeeease give us a couple second-rounders.

-Cole Aldrich had 14 points in the first quarter and a 16/10 double-double by the half. He was limited by foul trouble in the third quarter, and Fisher mysteriously sat him down the stretch in the fourth, but he did finish with a career-high 19 points to go along with 14 boards and three assists.

-Seriously, the decision to swap out Cole for Quincy Acy was a brilliant tactical move by Fisher, as was keeping Hardaway in the game. Acy hit a couple of clutch jumpers and Hardaway won the game at the end, of course, because God hates us.

-Vucevic came into tonight averaging 27.3 points in three games against the Knicks this season. He finished with 12 on Saturday. Thanks for nothing, shitheel.

-Oladipo had two open looks to tie the game at the end, and missed both. Thanks for nothing, dickweed.

The Timberwolves are now tied with the Knicks in the win column, and they play Golden State on the road tonight. Minnesota will assuredly win the draft lottery, pick Karl-Anthony Towns, waste 13 seasons of his prime, then give him away to the Celtics. Boston is all but guaranteed to win the 2029-30 NBA title. Meanwhile, the Knicks will end up picking fifth and select Mario Hezonja, who will then sign 10-year contract to play in Estonia.

And all because Tim freakin' Hardaway decided to can a couple jumpers on a Saturday night in Orlando. Thanks for nothing, you rat bastard!