“The NBA is better when the Knicks are good.”
This is something veteran NBA media members say; I heard the inimitable Doris Burke say it on podcast earlier this season. Much as it pains me to disagree with Doris, I must take issue with this statement.
I would argue the NBA has been at its best in the 1960s, the 1980s, the 1990s, and the 2010s. The Knicks were average in the 60s, great in the early 70s, average in the late 80s, good in the 1990s and terrible since.
There’s very little crossover in the dates in those two sentences! And honestly, you could easily argue that the 1990s were not all that great — this was the low-scoring, iso-only, defense-first era — I put it in there simply because Michael Jordan dominated, and watching Jordan was an unbelievable treat.
So, no: The NBA is not better when the Knicks are good. Just the opposite, I say.
What does this have to do with tonight’s Raptors-Knicks matchup? Nothing, except that we are now in a new decade, and the Knicks remain terrible, and have no avenues to improve for at least 1.5 seasons so it’s gonna be more of the same from them this decade.
Can the Raptors be great for the second decade in a row? They’re off to good start, having won five straight! Let’s watch them make it six.
Where to Watch
Sportsnet One, 7:30pm EST
Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, OG Anunoby
New York — Elfrid Payton, Reggie Bullock, Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Taj Gibson
Toronto — Dewan Hernandez (ankle - out); Patrick McCaw (nose - out)
New York — RJ Barrett (ankle - out)