In the arms race to become the worst team possible for a specific regular season, NBA teams are willing to reach new depths of patheticness in order to get a high draft pick. As the New York Knicks managed to beat the Orlando Magic 80-79, they also managed to be part of the lowest scoring quarter in the history of the NBA.
How bad? Both teams combined to score 15 points in the second quarter. Eight by Orlando, seven by the Knicks. Not the worst second quarter in history, but the worst quarter. As in the worst 12 minutes imaginable for anyone to watch.
How bad was it? The Knicks shot 3-of-20 from the field during the second quarter, turning the ball over twice. The Magic made 3-of-19 and turned the ball over seven times. They went through a 10-minute stretch with just one field goal and a free throw before Victor Oladipo put them out of their misery.
And that outstanding piece of action was witnessed by an alleged 17,027, although there were a lot more empty seats than the attendance numbers suggest. The Orlando Magic might be fun to watch this season despite their poor record (25-55), but it’s hard getting fans excited about seeing the 2015 version of the New York Knicks.
So while analytics have brought us certain improvements to the game in terms of thinking, strategy and player development, it has also ushered in an age of as many teams as possible playing bad basketball and holding off chances of immediate success of any kind for some future gambling. This leads to bad teams and shutting down players for a season, regardless of how much they’re paid. This leads to the worst basketball the league has ever seen on some days.