Pain and malfeasance returns to the program tonight as the worst team in the NBA meets a team that is just barely better than worst in the NBA. New York (13-51) is a mere half game behind Phoenix (14-51). Both teams have spun completely out of control with teenaged losing streaks under their belts, 18 for New York and 17 for Phoenix. The owners are justifiably some of the easiest to criticize in the league by a wide berth. A portrait of Suns owner Robert Sarver was recently distilled in this Kevin Arnovitz article. This particular paragraph has gotten it’s fair share of play:
Sarver acquired some live goats from a Diana Taurasi event at Talking Stick Resort Arena and planted them upstairs in McDonough’s office. The stunt was both a practical joke and an inspirational message -- the Suns should find a GOAT of their own, one who dominates like Taurasi. The goats, unaware of their metaphorical connotation, proceeded to defecate all over McDonough’s office.
The Suns also made the news for a different variety of foolishness with their young wing, Josh Jackson. Who knows what goes on in the Suns organization, but after several years of bonafide success with Steve Nash and company, they’ve hit an extremely rocky bottom.
Also eccentric and foolish, James Dolan is some sort of a devout 12-stepper who obsesses over the image but not the product he offers the Knick faithful. With luck he has finally employed the right group of people to help the Knicks break through their low slung ceiling.
Tonight is really about two atrocious teams though, not their ownership. According to 538, the Knicks have a a 75% chance to lose this game. A win would vault them in front of Phoenix in the standings by a half game. I wonder how the projection would work then? The Suns are coming off an exciting win over a shorthanded, yet best in the league, Milwaukee Bucks.
Knicks at Suns with a hundo on the Tank Rank.— Tankathon.com (@tankathon) March 6, 2019
Whole lot of tank teams in action tonight - a couple on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/iiZjvKDYOC
It’s possible that some of the trade deadline additions to the Suns are starting to connect some dots for the rest of the team. Tyler Johnson and Kelly Oubre are decent players that might be pressed into larger roles but they at worst are helping the Suns identify a blueprint to fill around Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. Jamal Crawford still plays for the Suns, so tune in for 10-15 minutes of an old man shifting his defender’s shorts.
For the Knicks, will we see DeAndre Jordan? Will Henry Ellenson and John Jenkins somehow swallow up Kevin Knox’s minutes? Will Frank Ntilikina ever be heard from again? Will Emmanuel Mudiay put on such a show that the Suns offer him a ton of money and the Knicks let him walk in the off season? I guess you’ll just have to turn on the game to see if you’re tuned in to dropping out. Good luck to the brain part of your eyes.
Noah Vonleh is commonly known as the Giannis-stopper around here and rather surprisingly the Suns found their very own version of Noah Vonleh earlier in the week.
One of Deandre Ayton's best defensive games of the season against Milwaukee tonight. Made it tough on Giannis around the rim, looked really agile guarding the perimeter, made some fairly instinctual rotations, recovered nicely for blocks. 3 BLK + 12 REB for the #1 pick. pic.twitter.com/vxZRtWgrzc— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) March 5, 2019
The Suns are generally one of the worst defensive teams in the league and that starts with the dynamic defensive panic of Devin Booker and doesn’t often stop when it trickles down to the paint.
On the other side of this interesting defensive equation...
Mitchell Robinson has at least one block in 20 straight games, the 2nd longest streak for a Knicks rookie behind Patrick Ewing (28 straight games).— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) March 4, 2019
You already know:
Well it never really looks good for the Knicks. I have to suppose they will lose this game, right? Or maybe not. Maybe this is the exact chemistry that will propel them to a win. It’s a similarly bad team. The Knicks are starving for a win on this road trip. Meanwhile, the Suns probably have a full belly from that win over Milwaukee. I sense some sluggishness in the pride of Phoenix, casting a shadow over the valley of the sun. I think I gotta call this one.
Knicks by 16.
Warm Up Music
No matter what happens in this tank-tacular affair, it’s sure to be a real humdinger.