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Dub Nation Rooting Guide #7: New York Knicks (4) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5)
Just in time before the series gets wrapped up
New York Knicks
Alec Burks. Elected Honorary Warrior after good effort and volume scoring during the dreadful 2019-20 season.
Coach of the Year finalist Tom Thibodeau was a big supporter of Warriors legendary coach Ron Adams, and spent his sabbatical year hanging out with Steve Kerr and the GSW coaching staff.
James Dolan is one of the worst owners in sports. He has thrown away the natural advantages of having the only team in Manhattan and a wildly loyal fan base. For this, we should be thankful.
None that I can think of.
Derrick Rose has not done particular basketball damage to the Warriors, but he has had a sordid past.
Obi Toppin had a stellar college career and was touted by some as a better draft pick than James Wiseman. That talk has died down as Toppin has shown talent but struggled to carve out a meaningful role on NYK with Thibodeau’s emphasis on defense.
Can we really reward one of the crappiest owners in sports with victories and good things? On the other hand, in the near future, NYK will probably be just good enough to make the playoffs but not bad enough to get franchise-changing lottery picks, so not sure if purgatory counts as a reward.
GM Travis Schlenk helped assemble the Dynasty Warriors as Associate GM, then got the big seat in 2017 in ATL, and immediately stole away GSW head performance therapist Chelsea Lane. Maybe that makes him a villain? He followed a Warriors-esque blueprint, even drafting micro-Steph Trae Young.
None that I know of.
Trae Young. Started as a college star with a very Steph Curry style game style. Had a splashy but inefficient rookie year as a micro Steph Curry. Then turned to the dark side to become a macro James Harden, somehow taking the latter’s pioneering foul baiting and cheating and putting a personal spin on it to degrade the sport and generally make his games tough watches.
Clint Capela. A key role player with the Houston Rockets that threatened the Dynasty Warriors, but I don’t think he got involved in anything too cheap or annoying.
Lou Williams. Helped out the Harden Rockets in 2018, and annoyed the Warriors in 2019 with LAC.
Onyeka Okongwu was one of my draft targets, and he ended up falling to ATL, and then due to injuries and other reasons I don’t understand, never seemed to get a chance.
Other than being a mini-me version of the Warriors and supporting Trae Young’s assault on the eyeballs of all basketball fans, I’m not sure ATL has made any impression on Dub Nation.
… so, who are you rooting for?
Give me the Knicks and keep Trae off my television until he repents.