On the Art of Losing

If there’s one thing the Knicks have managed to do this season, it’s lose games. And not just lose games like their depressing black-clad cross river counterparts (who are an astonishing 1-9 in their last 10 contests), but lose games in a truly spectacular variety of let-downs. If anyone could turn losing into an art form, it’s your 2016-2017 Knickerbockers. And now, with Sunday’s quad-banger in the rearview mirror, let us count the ways..

  • Losing in quadruple overtime (only the 11th time in NBA history a game went on that long) where four of your players foul out and the world’s longest two minute report neglects to mention that Carmelo was blatantly fouled on his last-second take to the hoop by Paul Millsap.
  • Losing again to those same Hawks when Porzingis was unable to convert free throws with the Knicks down three in the final seconds of the game.
  • Losing AGAIN to those same Hawks (Goddamnit!) when Derrick Rose failed to close out on a last second Schroder three pointer. Schroder, by the way, a 33% career shooter from deep.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo nailing a turn-around jumper after illegally backing down Lance Thomas for 5+ seconds in the Garden. Again, a blown call at the buzzer!
  • Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe getting onto the court to yell and wave his arms at Courtney Lee, forcing him to turn up the opportunity for a potential game tying three pointer. BLOWN CALL!! (Is there a theme? Na, not really, the Knicks did a lot of these to themselves).
  • Like losing a miserable Christmas day home contest as their fourth quarter rally came up short against the hated Boston Celtics.
  • Or how about the last second nail biter in Charlotte as Frank Kaminsky, of all people, scored 8 points in the final few minutes of the contest to put the game tantalizingly out of reach.
  • Their absolute bummer of an L in Dallas where the Knicks got flat out-hustled and Harrison Barnes played like the best dude on the court. All when it looked like they might finally have some mojo after coming back to beat Indiana days before.
  • Kristaps Porzingis fouling out in an overtime contest in Phoenix after dropping 34 points and looking like the only Knick who could put the ball in the basket. New York dropped this one by 2 in overtime after beginning their West Coast road trip with 2 straight wins. Looking back at it now, this might have just been the beginning of the end.
  • The Knicks losing again to Phoenix (Phoenix!!). This time at home. Anthony’s game winning three point attempt was halfway down before the basketball gods decided we weren’t supposed to have nice things.
  • And, of course, Melo on the other side of a game winner, as the smallest, whitest player on the court nailed a baseline jumper in his face to give the Philadelphia 76ers an improbably home win. Make sure to peep the great KP airball to set up Philly’s fast break.

Sadly this list doesn’t come close to capturing any of the blowouts that New York has suffered this year, or the number of games they came out of the gate looking miserably flat and uninterested. It doesn’t encapsulate the routs that have occurred every time the Knicks have played Cleveland or Golden State or how they spent a huge chunk of the early season being absolutely unable to win a game on the road. And perhaps most depressing of all, this list of 11 woeful losses represents more than a third of the Knicks’ 28 Ls to date. With 33 games left to play, and a whole lot more losing to do, it seems safe to say that there should be a few more of these to join the list by the end of the year.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll come back after the season and power rank ’em all..

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