Nobody expected any headlines when the Knicks (15-64) visited the Magic (25-54) on Saturday night. But the lowly showdown turned into news for all the wrong reasons.
It was fan appreciation night at the Amway Center, but there wasn’t much to appreciate about this game. The Knicks picked up their 16th win of the season, 80-79, in what looked like an NCAA tournament game. But it was the second quarter in particular that’s getting all the attention.
Both teams combined to score 15 total points in the 12-minute quarter — the Knicks once again prevailing by a single point, 8-7. The performance, or lack there of, gave us the fewest points in a quarter in the shot clock era (which extends back to 1954).
The struggles of the two lottery-bound teams were sad to watch, but did provide us with some laughable numbers. The combine shooting from the field in the quarter was 6-for-39 (good for just over 15 percent), and all nine of their attempts from downtown were misses. You can take a look at the beautiful shot chart below.
Tim Hardaway Jr. was optimistic enough to call it an “all-around great game” after it was all said and done. I’m sure he won’t have a tough time finding someone to disagree with on that.
My favorite two stats from the debacle came from ESPN.com:
“It was the fewest points in a quarter in the shot clock era (since 1954-55), which spans 209,888 quarters played, including Saturday’s action. It was also only the third time that both teams scored fewer than 10 points each.”
And even better …
“Eighteen players played in the second quarter and are combining to make $31.7 million this season. So, prorated, these players earned $96,708 over the 12-minute period, with Victor Oladipo ($15,177, 1-for-4) clearing the most and Langston Galloway ($718, 0-for-2) taking home the smallest amount for his 10 minutes, 11 seconds on the floor.”
Victor Oladipo had a game-high of 21 points, not bad considering the final score, while Cole Aldrich actually put together a career-game for the Knicks with 19 points and 14 boards — a sneaky DFS play as the season winds down.
There’s not much more to say about this one other than it was ugly. Hardaway Jr. wound up hitting the “game-winning” 3-pointer if that concerns you. But if you’re a Knicks fan you were really rooting for a loss — the Knicks are still battling with the Timberwolves for the highest lottery odds. And if you’re a Magic fan, well, you probably just don’t care.
Just be thankful we only have a few more days of this before we are treated to playoff basketball starting on Saturday. That should provide some headlines that we can celebrate a little bit more than this one.
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