Skip to Content
Correct Opinions

The Knicks Have the Heat Right Where They Want Them

Oh the dangerous web this wily Knicks coach weaves.

1:45 PM EDT on May 10, 2023

A taste of the high-level basketball strategy being employed by the Knicks. (NBA / Hell Gate)

In a game of chess, the strongest move is often the one that, somewhat paradoxically, moves you backwards. 

Trade your rook for their pawn. Perilously endanger your bishop on a feint. Lose a queen to eventually take their king. The NBA is no different—sometimes, you must lose home-court advantage, play listlessly, give up near-endless offensive rebounds, and back yourselves into an almost insurmountable hole, all in order to get your opponent into the exact right spot for you to spring your trap. 

As I, a knowledgeable but disinterested observer with no actual intel or stake in the current playoff matchup between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat, can clearly see, whoever is coaching the Knicks is springing such a trap on the Heat. While the well-coiffed, deeply intelligent coach of the Miami Heat might think he's poised to once again guide a ragtag group of basketball castoffs that he molded into a hard-nosed title contender deep into the playoffs, he actually has another thing coming. 

That's because across the wide divide of the scorer's table, the zip-up fleece of a certain Knicks head coach contains a keen, resourceful mind (and a deceptively fit physique). 

It only appears to the Heat and the viewing public that Knicks star Julius Randle is wandering aimlessly around the court, trudging through a cycling miasma of indignation at officials and general disinterest in defense, off-ball offense, or rebounding. But appearances are deceiving—could it actually be that Randle is lulling players like Bam Adebayo, or Kevin Love, or the degenerate Cody Zeller, into a false sense of security, before he returns to complete basketball dominance…when it's already too late for Miami to make an adjustment to an "actively participating" Julius Randle?

Speaking of "adjustments," have the Knicks completely failed to change their game plan when they fall behind in games, or stopped writing up actual plays coming out of timeouts? Or have they simply made it appear that they're not interested in adjusting? All the worse for the Heat once the Knicks begin trotting out new lineups this evening, new plays, hell, even new uniforms. The Heat won't know what, or even "who" hit them. Oh, what a momentary, and private, laugh the head coach of the New York Knicks will have at that point. (I'm only guessing this will happen.) 

To consider the Knicks "spent" or "totally screwed" or "absolutely and irrevocably lost" when they have not yet even been "eliminated" from contention is to truly fall for the oldest of moves, the most cunning of strategies—a "playing of the possum," an "of course it's totally OK to go into the tiger habitat, they're sleeping." But the Knickerbockers "sleep" with one eye open—especially their gorgeous coach.

Get ready, Miami Heat. Take off those sunglasses. Because tonight in the bright lights of MSG, things are about to get very, very dark for you.

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Give us your email address to keep reading two more articles for free

See all subscription options

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Hell Gate

Finally: It’ll Cost $15 to Drive into Lower Manhattan

Details of the congestion pricing plan, and other links to start your day.

November 30, 2023

Greenpoint’s Restaurant Row Gets a Nifty New Japanese Sando Shop

Taku Sando puts an American twist on Japanese sandwiches.

November 29, 2023

The New Corona Plaza Market Doesn’t Seem Like Much of a Market At All

Vendors say the City's new vision for the plaza "feels like a slap in the face." Plus, more of Wednesday's links.

November 29, 2023

Queens Casino Debates Return: Will Jessica Ramos Be the Immovable Object to Steve Cohen’s Unstoppable Force?

Both Ramos and Cohen ultimately have only one weapon, and it’s the power to scuttle the other’s plans.

November 28, 2023

With NYC in a Housing Crisis, Adams Administration Takes Bold Step of Removing Bureaucratic Hurdles So Developers Can Build More Casinos

The administration doesn't want to gamble with a casino developer's shot at a NYC gambling house, and more links for your Tuesday.

November 28, 2023
See all posts