The Wolves out-tanked the Knicks.
As sad as that might be, it’s a quite impressive feat, really. The Knicks were a team that began their tanking efforts from the very start, and never relented until the very end. GM Phil Jackson and Coach Derek Fisher tried everything: trading away key starters for scraps, resting Carmelo Anthony and Jose Calderon after the All-Star Break, starting players like Alexey Shved, Travis Wear, and Jason Smith, but it was all for naught.
Who do they have to thank for their spoiled efforts? The pesky Minnesota Timberwolves, of course. President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders, along with Coach Flip Saunders, saw the Knicks horrid roster, and decided the Wolves could outdo them in all facets. After early injuries to Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin made any thoughts of playoff aspirations a thing of the past, Flip went all-in. He traded contributors Mo Williams, Corey Brewer, and Thaddeus Young for draft picks and players that had few positive contributions this season, signed no names to 10-day contracts, and, most impressively, kept insisting on starting Zach LaVine at point guard.
It took 81 games to accomplish their goal, but the Wolves are now 1 loss from assuring themselves the worst record in the league, and the guaranteed top-4 pick that comes with it.
Coming into yesterday, the Wolves were tied with the Knicks, and would need a loss, coupled with another miracle win from the Knicks to have a chance at sole possession of best of the worst.
The Wolves held up their end of the bargain, although it took until the 4th quarter for the Pelicans to pull away from Minnesota. Only a few things, from the game are worth mentioning. One of them came from Andrew Wiggins, who nearly started a war with Turkey due to his dunk over Omer Asik.
— NBA (@NBA) April 14, 2015
Wiggins wasn’t done settling diplomatic feuds on the court. In the fourth quarter, he attempted another posterizer, this time over French big man Alexis Ajinca. He ended up missing it by inches, but look where he takes off from!
Wiggins almost ended Ajinca's career oh my god… https://t.co/kxdcay5bdw
— NBA Bulletin (@TheNBABulletin) April 14, 2015
Yeah, that would’ve been better than his first dunk. Still, it might be the most impressive missed dunk I’ve ever seen.
Even with Wiggins monster dunks, the Wolves fell 100-88. Minnesota actually ended the game with only 6 healthy players, as Justin Hamilton and Chase Budinger picked up injuries during the game. Per league rules, the Wolves are going to need 8 healthy players for the season finale Wednesday, and Flip is looking for eager volunteers to suit up.
Flip: "We have to find a way to make sure we get 8 guys. If anyone here has any interest, we're willing to take tryouts."
— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) April 14, 2015
So with the Wolves losing, all they would need is a Knicks win. Thankfully, that’s exactly what they got, as the Knicks, with a combined 77 points from retired pirate Langston Galloway, average joe Jason Smith, “not the good” Tim Hardaway, and man-bun connoisseur Lou Amundson, prevailed in a 112-108 victory over a Hawks team resting most of their starters.
Knicks fans, who had been dead set on finishing in last for months, were FURIOUS, and nothing is funnier than angry Knicks fans.
The following images are #NSFW (Not safe for work).
— timberpups.com (@timberpupsblog) April 14, 2015
It gets funnier.
Just when I thought the @nyknicks couldn't be any worse, they go and do that. They even suck at sucking.
— Tom Simunek (@tsimunek) April 14, 2015
"Daddy! Why couldn't the Knicks win earlier?" "Because they hate us. They want to give us hope of a high pick, then take it. Dolan is evil."
— Christopher Bowen (@superbus) April 14, 2015
For this fans sake, I hope the Knicks lose on Wednesday.
@nyknicks i want to see a fucking riot outside msg wednesday in favor of an L. We cannot possibly win our next game. I will throw up!!!!!!!
— wsw9 (@knicks1992) April 14, 2015
At least the sound of this fan vomiting will be more pleasant than hearing Knicks owner James Dolan try and sing.
Godspeed, Knicks, and tank you very much.