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Magic 115, Knicks 103: Scenes from the worst game of the year

NBA: Orlando Magic at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

That was the one right there. The Knicks were either gonna jolt themselves awake to start 2017, or they were gonna have a horrendous home performance provide the jolt for them. They chose the latter. One of the worst offenses in the NBA blossomed into Warriors East against New York’s flickering defense: 15-31 from downtown, with 35 assists to 12 turnovers. The Knicks couldn’t even keep their offense fresh enough to muster a fake comeback.

This really felt like a win to me early, even though the Knicks couldn’t hold a first-quarter lead. The Knicks were shooting well, and I just didn’t think this shooting would continue:

It continued! If anything, it intensified. For all but like 2 minutes in the early fourth, the Knicks alternated between under-helping and over-helping, and the Magic read those errors perfectly. They never stopped hitting from outside, and they barreled to the rim when contested.

Lotta this garbage, too:

The Knicks’ defense has been trash, but it can always get worse. Tonight demonstrated that. When the team’s shorthanded and everyone from Carmelo Anthony on down refuses to hold his own — like, staring at the ceiling and groaning because he doesn’t feel like closing out — bad teams can flourish at the Garden. It’ll be so interesting to see what happens now — how players speak after the game, how Jeff Hornacek responds, and what the Knicks put on the floor when the Bucks come to town Wednesday. Every season must have a low point, and I hope this was that. Well, and I hope it’s truly a point and not just the middle of a long, deep plateau.