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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / March 18.
  • Zion Watch: Knicks move to within a half game of NBA’s worst record

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    The Knicks are getting closer to a realistic shot at landing Duke stars Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett.

    With their loss in Milwaukee on Thursday night, the Knicks fell to 9-27 and now have the second-worst record in the NBA, behind only the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    The Knicks now have a 14 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick and a 52.1 percent shot at a top-4 pick. Williamson and Barrett are widely regarded as the top two picks.

    Both players made their Madison Square Garden debuts last week and dressed in the Knicks locker room.

    “If they draft me, I would love to play for the Knicks,” the 6-foot-7 Williamson said then. “I don’t really care where I go, just the experience of being in the NBA. Whoever wants me and whoever sees the most in me, that’s where I want to be.”

    As for the 6-7 Barrett, he also kept his options open.

    “I mean, it’s cool,” Barrett told SNY.tv of being in the Knicks locker room. “You grow up watching these teams play on TV and you get to be in the locker room. I’m sitting at my guy Allonzo Trier’s locker and he’s my guy, so it’s a great experience for us.”

    The Knicks have lost 11 of their last 12, and won just one of seven December games at the Garden. During that same span, seven college basketball teams won as many games at the Garden as the Knicks: Florida, Oklahoma, Seton Hall, Columbia, St. John’s, Duke and Villanova. None of those teams played more than one game at the Garden in December.

    The Knicks will also have cap space to pursue a free agent like Kevin Durant during the all-important summer of 2019.

    Looking ahead, the Knicks play their next five games on the road, including tilts at likely playoff teams the Nuggets, Warriors, Lakers and Blazers.

    When New York returns home Jan. 13, three of their next four games are against current playoff teams in the 76ers, Thunder and Rockets.

     

    Photo: AP

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.