Let me get this straight.
The No. 1 Clippers lose GM Neil Olshey, who pulled off the Chris Paul trade after letting his contract run out, start a GM search as free agent signing period begins and get Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill and three or four more guys whom the Lakers – with their 29th-ranked bench – would die for?
The No. 2 Knicks flounder with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, see Jeremy Lin take off, watch Lin turn back into a pumpkin, fire Mike D’Antoni, let Lin walk, see Amar’e go down, go to a three-guard lineup of Ronnie Brewer, Ray Felton and Jason Kidd who shot 42, 41 and 36 percent last season … and get off to their best start ever?
Of course, another winning Los Angeles team and two – count ‘em, two – in Gotham, up from its usual zero, is an NBA dream, or miracle.
A committee of Clippers president Andy Roeser, coach Vinny Del Negro and assistant GM Gary Sacks (since promoted to GM) brought in the guys who, with happening Eric Bledsoe comprise the NBA’s top bench at 42 points a game.
Showing some things never change, Vinny’s on an expiring contract, too.
The Knicks, headless horsemen last season with Toney Douglas and rookie Iman Shumpert at the point and the offense stalling through Melo, got two real points at bargain basement prices after Felton’s debacle in Portland and the 39-year-old Kidd’s brick laying in Dallas.
Felton is back to the guy they traded in the Melo deal. Kidd, whose leadership makes him special even if he shoots 36 percent, is at 54 percent.
Not that Kidd’s likely to do that all season, or all of November. But the team with the No. 26 defense in Mike D’Antoni’s last full season is No. 2 under coach Mike Woodson.
The Clippers are third on offense, eighth on defense.
So who says they’re going away?