CLEVELAND – It wasn’t that long ago that LeBron James was ruling Cleveland and there were parades with fans happily throwing powder into the air. The mood was far different Monday night as the Knicks and Cavaliers convened at Quicken Loans Arena for a battle to the bottom.
The Knicks entered the night with the worst record in the league and the Cavs were just a half-game better, a fitting opponent as the Knicks chased a humbling bit of history. This game not only provided a glimpse of who was the worst team in basketball, but the 107-104 loss was the 17th straight defeat for the Knicks, the longest stretch of futility in the long history of the franchise.
The Knicks topped the 16-game streak set in January 2015, when the Derek Fisher-led Knicks were on their way to a franchise-worst 17-65 season. On that day it was Carmelo Anthony who led the way with 25 points. This time, it was Kadeem Allen, recently promoted from the G League, leading the way with 25 points. The Knicks have not won since beating the Lebron-less Lakers on Jan. 4 and have lost 25 of 26 and 30 of 32 to settle in with an NBA-worst 10-46 record.
The Knicks had been down by 17, never leading for a second, but with Luke Kornet hitting a pair of late three-pointers they cut the gap to one. But Kornet missed a wide-open three with 21.8 seconds left. Cavs rookie Collin Sexton hit a pair from the line with 17.3 seconds left to push the lead back to three. John Jenkins, signed to a 10-day contract earlier in the day, missed a three and Dennis Smith Jr. misfired on a desperation shot at the buzzer.
The Knicks point steadily to a future filled with mystery built around salary-cap space and draft picks. But for now it’s dismal. And if the plan set in place was bound for this outcome, they want you to know that they — the players, the coaches — are not tanking. If the losses come steadily, they still are enduring it with a hope of better days coming from it.
“Yeah, a lot of fans, they always say some dumb stuff,” Kevin Knox said after the morning shootaround. “You see it all the time with the tanking and want us to lose, stuff like that. It’s kind of stupid. They’re not really true New Yorkers. Real Knicks fans know that we’re trying to just take this year to kind of just develop us young guys and then next year hopefully make a push.
“Every night we’re going to go out and just play hard. We’re going to compete at the highest level. We might make some mistakes towards the end of the game which costs us the loss. We’re in a lot of close games with a lot of great teams, playoff teams. That just shows you how close we are from winning those games. We’re just missing a couple of pieces. It’s really good for …read more
Source:: Daily times