As the #TankFlight initiative appears to finally be full speed ahead, the undermanned New Orleans Pelicans take on the geometrically astute New York Knicks at the Smoothie King Center. I do not think it is a stretch to say that Spike Lee has neglected to solidify himself a court side seat to watch the dynamic front line duo of Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca in action against his beloved Zinger.
With Anthony Davis out, Jrue Holiday ailing and precious ping pong balls at stake, each game from here on out can be best defined as going through the motions at best. Minus some intriguing seeding gymnastics that have yet to take shape within the Eastern Conference and the bottom half of the Western Conference, games around the league are somewhat of a drag, with the most interesting narratives often being presented by teams tanking their way to a more lucrative chance at a top prospect.
This is the time of year where fans may actually begin to question winning games. (This idea also applies to fans of teams that hold another team's first round pick such as Boston.) Each Brooklyn Nets win is another chink in the armor of Boston's chances of obtaining yet another young asset.
This is the time of year where Mark Madsen is unleashed and stars players either sit out extended amounts of games or are shut down completely with "lower back pain" or a "lower leg injury." Things get hairy around late March and early April, as teams dip, duck and dodge their way into getting into proper lottery position or in their desired playoff seed.
Unfortunately for New York, they are not in the thick of a playoff race, so they are stuck in the middle. They are also without their 2016 first round pick due to their muffed trade involving a seven foot Italian. You would think that New York teams would have realized by now that the only Italians they should acquire better have the name Soprano attached.
(Did that joke land? I gave it my best shot.)
The five thousand pound elephant in the room is whether or not the Knicks are going to (wisely) move on from Carmelo Anthony this summer as he does not fall within the same age range as Sir Kristaps. Anthony could bring back a pleasing haul in a perfect world, but he possesses a no trade clause along strict demands of making it work in New York or taking his own talents to South Beach. I suspect one of the two sides blinks this upcoming summer.
On the court, the Knicks are an enigma without an identity. They cycle through assorted triangle concepts on some nights and play fast on others. They are their most lethal when they are hoisting up threes and utilizing Kristaps Porzingis in pick and rolls with Anthony -- yet, that offensive strategy is not the basis of their existence for reasons that are unknown.
Maybe their coach(es) are holding them back. Sound familiar?