Why Los Angeles Lakers’ Future Looks Rosier Than New York Knicks’ Future

The latest edition in the long-running Clash of Coasts featured more than its fair share of tragedy, albeit without the developments that claimed the lives of legendary rappers Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. in the 1990s.

The only casualties this time around? The New York Knicks' fading playoff hopes and fleeting professional pride and, to a lesser extent, the Los Angeles Lakers' "pursuit" of a prime pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Even after that 127-96 bloodbath at the Staples Center on Tuesday night, the Knicks are clearly in a better spot right now than the Lakers, albeit not dramatically so. Unlike L.A., New York has yet to be eliminated from postseason contention. Three games stand between the Knicks and the similarly sloppy Atlanta Hawks in the race for the eight-seed in the Eastern Conference.

Realistically, though, the Knicks figure to spend as much time watching the 2014 playoffs from home as the Lakers will. The disparity in the length and strength of remaining schedules between New York and Atlanta doesn't bode well for the Knickerbockers' postseason aspirations.

And, if we're being honest, neither does the gap in team-building assets bode well for the Knicks in the race to return to the top of the Association between fiancees Phil Jackson in the Big Apple and Jeanie Buss in Tinseltown.


Winning Now in New York 

In the immediate term, though, the Knicks are a safer bet to return to the playoffs in 2015 than are the Lakers.

Say what you will about New York's cap-clogging front court, but at least the Knicks have some quality players under contract beyond this season. Tyson Chandler, a defense-anchoring double-double machine, and Amar'e Stoudemire, who's averaged 17.6 points and 6.1 rebounds over his last 10 games (all starts), are still no worse than serviceable in the right system and under the right coach.


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