For just the second time since the calendar flipped over to 2019, the Knicks have won a regular season NBA basketball game, topping the lowly Hawks—and in Atlanta, no less—by the score of 106–91. It’s been 41 days since the team last tasted victory, a span covering a franchise-record 18 consecutive losses.
The Hawks are one of three teams that could be considered in New York’s class this season, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns. The four teams have now combined to win 48 total games. For comparison’s sake, the Bucks and Raptors have each won 43 games. Point is, this result should not be interpreted as a shifting of the wind. The Knicks won this game, but only because someone had to.
The win itself isn’t necessarily much of a positive—for the moment it dropped the Knicks out of the driver’s seat for the top pick in the 2019 draft, by a few percentage points—but some of the young Knicks did cool things. Dennis Smith Jr. went for 19 points on just 10 shots, plus seven assists, and the team went a healthy plus-9 over his 32 minutes. Kevin Knox knocked down a couple three-pointers and grabbed 10 boards. Mitchell Robinson continued to bounce around like someone put flubber on his soles, and had some cool highlights:
The win gives the Suns the lead in the Zion Williamson sweepstakes, and Phoenix now has the league’s longest active losing streak, at 15 games. They’ll have to wait until after the All-Star break for their next shot at snapping it, but they’ll face pretty decent odds: their next two games are against the Cavs and the Hawks. Who wants it more? And what exactly is “it,” in this context? And who fucking cares? The most interesting thing about the Knicks was the losing streak, and now they’ve screwed even that up. Thanks for nothing, bozos.