Suddenly with one game left, the Knicks, in a worst-case scenario, could drop as low as sixth in June’s NBA draft. With the New York Knickerbockers enduring their worst season in franchise history, picking as high as sixth could be very hurting in the long run.
Langston Galloway and Tim Hardaway Jr. powered the New York Knicks to a stunning 112-108 victory over the top seed of the Eastern Conference Atlanta Hawks on Monday at Philips Arena, but it did end up costing the franchise the undisputed No. 1 lottery seed.
“I’m sure people are upset with us tonight,’’ Fisher said. “But you never go out here and try not to play your best. It’s a hard thing to do. … Despite our record and whatever probabilities and percentages are with us winning the game, in terms of our future, it has no bearings on these guys’ lives.’’
Jason Smith, who scored 20 points in the victory against the Hawks, agreed with Fisher’s assessment.
“As players, we’re trying to go out there and win the last games that we have,” Smith said. “We have one game left, and we’re only thinking about Wednesday.”
With the victory, the Knicks improved to 17-64 and moved into sole possession of the second worst record in the NBA. If they win their regular-season finale against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday and the Philadelphia 76ers lose their final game to the Miami Heat, the Knicks would finish the season in a tie with the Sixers.
The Knicks and Sixers would then split the lottery odds, giving each team a roughly 17.7 percent chance to win the top pick. New York can avoid falling into a tiebreaker with Philadelphia by losing to the Pistons on Wednesday night.
If they lose to Detroit, the Knicks will end up with sole possession of the second-worst record in the NBA. They could also end up tied with Minnesota for the league’s worst record if the Timberwolves win their final game.
While many New York fans are going crazy over the their team’s recent victories, they can take some solace that the team with the worst record doesn’t necessarily mean they are getting the first pick
For starters, the team with the worst record in the NBA hasn’t won the draft lottery since 2004. While all of it is seemingly based on luck, it can’t be denied that the team with the second and third best odds at winning the lottery wins it more often than the team actually more favored to do so.
Many draft observers and mock observe the following as the top six players in June’s NBA draft. Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell, Emmanuel Mudiay, Willie Cauley-Stein and Justise Winslow.