Stephen A. Hedging His Bet? Starts Praising Knicks...

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith went on his usual rant about the Knicks, but now he's starting to change his tune. He's pivoted from habitually kicking dirt on the Knicks to having hope.

Should we tell him?

"I'm excited, Max. The Knicks have won four of their last five ," Stephen A. said. "Brooklyn has lost four of their last five. They've got all the talent, but I'm watching Julius Randle over here: 22 (points), 11 (rebounds) and seven (assists) off 50% shooting and 40% from deep. He's playing like an All-Star."

Here's where it gets interesting.

"I see Kyrie taking all the shots in the fourth quarter...more than KD. I see a team that's struggling defensively. There's some trouble in Brooklyn."

Okay, so let's figure out what's happening here.

Stephen A. Smith isn't recognizing some kind of "trouble." He is acknowledging "pressure" that the Nets play with, but that the New York Knicks do not have. Kevin Durant isn't on the court right now due to COVID restrictions, so how can the Nets be expected to play up to their exceptions? They shouldn't be.

What's wrong in Brooklyn?

Well, one of Brooklyn's best bench players in Spencer Dinwiddie partially tore his ACL, and the team's best player isn't on the floor. Is that enough of a reason to lose some games? I believe it's plenty.

As for Smith's comments on Irving taking more shots in the fourth quarter than KD. Is Kyrie supposed to look up at the scoreboard and count how many shots he's taken compared to his new running mate? The guy hit the biggest shot in a Finals Game Seven EVER, so he has every right to a green light on offense. Yes, even over one of the best scorers in NBA history.

When Brooklyn was healthy the first week of the season and rolling teams by 40, Stephen A. was quiet. He didn't have much to say about KD and Kyrie taking turns dropping 30, did he? Instead, he's giving his opinion on the Nets' roster after a bad week for Brooklyn. Ya know, the same way his former co-worker Skip Bayless would do.

The New York Knicks stink, Stephen A. Just wait on it.