Friday, February 13, 2015

Shut It Down!

In what came as less a surprise than an unfortunate (but perhaps necessary) inevitability, Carmelo Anthony indicated that the NBA All-Star game would probably be his last game of the season.  Like Liz Lemon used to say, "SHUT IT DOWN." 

Citing a sore left knee that has kept him out of action at times this season, Anthony told ESPN Radio it's "very likely" he won't be back on the court after Sunday's game.  In fact, Anthony may only make a token appearance, wave to the fans (well, to the laughably small contingent of fans in attendance) and shuffle off the court.  Like most Knicks' fans, Anthony has had enough.

Without Anthony, a Knicks' team that already has the worst record in the NBA will be, somehow, even worse.  But for Knicks' fans who had already given up on the season, that's okay.  Because the light at the end of the (Lincoln) tunnel is the Draft Lottery.  The biggest dreamers among us will remember that first draft lottery.  Much has changed since 1985 -- now we have ping pong balls, weighted odds, and a lot more teams.  But seeing Dave DeBusschere nearly topple over with glee when David Stern revealed the Knicks to be the winner of the Patrick Ewing sweepstakes is the sort of thing that makes losing, if not palatable, then a means to an end.  The Melo-less Knicks would certainly have the inside track to that 25% chance at the #1 pick.

Speaking of wihch, many early mock drafts have Duke's Jahlil Okafor as the top pick.  With Jason Smith and Cole Aldrich sharing time in the middle, the Duke center would look mighty fine in orange and blue.  Even if the Knicks don't land that top pick, PG Emmanuel Mudiay, SG D'Angelo Russell or another top prospect will be on the board when the Knicks make their selection.

It's safe to say that Phil Jackson will get a rehabilitated Anthony some help when the (post-surgery?) forward takes the floor next October.  Add a star free agent to the mix -- the Knicks could have some $30 million in cap space -- and all this losing may not seem so bad after all.

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