NBA: Los Angeles Lakers & New York Knicks Hit All-Time Low, But Which Team is Having More Disappointing Season?
The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks each play in the two most populated cities in the United States today. Keeping that theme going, they also have the two most losses in the National Basketball Association this season.
Which begs the question, what the heck happened to these teams?
Both teams have definitely been hit with the injury bug. Future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant tore his rotator cuff back in January, and he has just one year remaining on his contract. Jeremy Lin has an expiring contract, and the Lakers need to build up their front court. Jordan Hill has a $9 million team option next season, Ed Davis has a $1.1 million player option next year, and Carlos Boozer has an expiring contract.
Fortunately for the Lakers, they have a lot of salary cap space opening up over the next two seasons.
Although many will make the case that the Lakers are more disappointing than the Knicks because they have the most losses and the league's worst defense, competition has to play a factor. The Lakers play in a vigorous Western Conference where there is virtually no room for error whatsoever. The Knicks play in the East where three teams with a losing record (not joking) are currently holding playoff spots.
For the Knicks, they too have failed to adjust to a new coaching staff. Former Laker Derek Fisher has no head coaching experience, and this season has been a disaster for him in the Big Apple. Just like the Lakers, the Knicks have also been without their best player for an extended period of time. Carmelo Anthony had knee surgery in mid-February, and was ruled out the rest of the season.
On March 28, the Knicks lost their 60th game of the season, a franchise record. During the 1962-63 season the Knicks went 21-59. The Knicks also lost 59 games in 1985 and later in 2005. Congrats to the 2014-15 squad for making history. Now, only the Utah Jazz have never lost 60 games in a season.
But that could be coming to an end very soon. The Lakers are presently 19-53 with 10 games remaining. That means if the Lakers go at least 3-7, they will finish with 60 losses or more for the first time in franchise history. Last year the Lakers set a franchise record for most losses in a season when they finished 27-55.
Similar to the Lakers, the Knicks also have cap space opening up soon. Phil Jackson was busy at the trade deadline dealing away JR Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Knicks also waived Amar'e Stoudemire in February. This Knicks team still has a lot of flaws on the front-court, and there's no telling who the starting point guard will be next season. Not having Anthony has been a terrible blow, but the Knicks didn't have a winning record with him anyway.
It feels like so long ago when both of these teams were contenders, but now they're lottery teams for the upcoming NBA Draft.