New York Knicks: It's time to fire up your tanks


The Knicks didn't mean to have such a poor year. Yet, here they are, fighting for the fourth spot in the lottery. It's time to break down the rest of the schedule for the Knicks, 76ers, Magic, Timberwolves and Kings in the race for spots four to seven in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The run home for the Knicks

Away at Utah
Away at Portland
Away at San Antonio
Home vs Detroit
Home vs Miami
Away at Miami
Home vs Boston
Home vs Chicago
Home vs Washington
Away at Memphis
Home vs Toronto
Home vs Philadelphia

The Knicks could potentially not win any games for the rest of the season, with Philadelphia being the only team that the Knicks will face where they stand to be favourites or if not, even. The Knicks could snatch a victory against Miami in one of those two match-ups.

Projected win-loss: 29-53

The run home for the Sixers

Away at Oklahoma
Away at Chicago
Away at Indiana
Away at Brooklyn 
Home vs Hawks
Away at Cleveland
Away at Toronto
Home vs Brooklyn 
Home vs Chicago
Home vs Milwaukee
Home vs Indiana
Away at New York

Nine of Philadelphia's last 12 games will be against teams in playoff calculations. The Sixers play the Pacers and Bulls twice, with both teams being up and down. A win against one of those games is on the cards, particularly as the Sixers have looked better in the last few weeks. Two games against Brooklyn and one game against the Knicks makes things interesting. The Nets have won three games in the past couple of weeks and look a little better, while the Sixers have gone 2-1 against the Knicks this season. 

Projected win-loss: 29-53

The run home for Orlando

Home vs Charlotte
Home vs Detroit
Away at Toronto
Home vs Oklahoma
Away at Boston
Away at Brooklyn
Away at Cleveland
Home vs Brooklyn
Home vs Indiana
Away at Chicago
Home vs Detroit

The Magic play six games against sub .500 teams in the final 11 games. Despite some strong play from Elfrid Payton and Nikola Vucevic, the Magic seem less likely to upset teams like Chicago, Indiana, Chicago or Detroit just due to less talent on the roster. Orlando should take home two wins against the Nets, however. 

Projected win-loss: 28-54

The run home for the Timberwolves

Away at Los Angeles Lakers
Away at Portland
Away at Indiana 
Home vs Los Angeles Lakers
Home vs Sacramento 
Home vs Portland
Away at Golden State
Away at Portland
Away at Utah
Away at Los Angeles Lakers
Home vs Oklahoma
Away at Houston

The Timberwolves are five games behind the Denver Nuggets for the eighth seed, and are playing as hard as they can. Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Ricky Rubio have been on a tear and three games against the Lakers, as well as a game against the Kings, should all be wins. The Wolves may even snatch one off the Trail Blazers, who they also play three times. 

Projected win-loss: 33-49

The run home for the Kings

Home vs Milwaukee
Away at Golden State
Away at Los Angeles Clippers
Home vs Memphis
Home vs Utah
Away at New Orleans
Away at Minnesota
Home vs Dallas
Away at Los Angeles Lakers
Away at Houston
Home vs Phoenix
Away at Los Angeles Clippers

The Kings have shown glimpses of development since the DeMarcus Cousins trade. Buddy Hield, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Skal Labissiere have been good and allowed the team to win a couple of games they were not expected to. Games against the Pelicans and Timberwolves could go either way, while the Kings should record victories against the Suns and Lakers. 

Projected win-loss: 29-53

Every win or loss will be crucial from here on out for each of these teams. However, the Kings will have to swap their pick with the Sixers if they finish lower than Philadelphia, which means they are less committed to the tank than the Knicks and Magic. The Sixers also have a chance of landing the Lakers pick if it falls outside the top three, so the Sixers might just try their best from a minutes point of view to just go into every game trying to be as competitive as possible. 

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