The Toronto Raptors are doing so badly that their losing streak just got a whole lot worse with a 103-98 loss to the New York Knicks of all teams, on most days the worst in the NBA.
But with the Raptors playing awful, selfish basketball, even the D-League plus team known as the 2015 New York Knicks was able to beat them. Not just beat them, but actually win two games in a row, something that has happened only twice before this season. Yes, it’s been that poor, pathetic and sad for those visiting the Madison Square Garden on a regular basis, but even for someone occupying the bottom of the Eastern conference, there are days which bring up a smile on the players’ faces.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 points to lead a Knicks team that wasn’t great; they simply weren’t the worst bunch on the court. Andrea Bargnani started and scored 19 points against his former team, but the Knicks actually played better without the Italian center, getting a bit more energy and defense when Cole Aldrich was on the floor, scoring 9 points in 17 minutes. Alexey Shved, another player coming off the bench, finished with 15 points in 20 minutes.
For the Raptors it was another day of their two backcourt players being unable to put the ball in the net at an efficient rate. Kyle Lowry wasn’t playing, but Greivis Vasquez didn’t do a lot better, shotting 5-of-13 from the field to score 14 points. DeMar DeRozan was only 3-of-15 from the field and is shooting an appalling 29.6% from the field over the last five games. Lou Williams didn’t provide an answer off the bench, shooting just 6-of-16 from the field to score 22 points.
The Knicks aren’t going anywhere this season except for a high draft pick, probably. But the Raptors? They’ve lost the second place in the East to the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers have done an excellent job of making up for lost ground and time. It’s hard seeing the Raptors doing a lot worse than they are now and maybe this Knicks loss is really rock bottom, but don’t be surprised to see this free fall carrying on a little bit longer.