Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Unsung Knick History

Unsung Knick History – Small School, Big Results (for the Knicks)

This is the twenty-eighth in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of examinations into different games, events and decisions that impacted Knicks history in some way, shape or form. Stories that are not as famous as, say, “The Dunk” or Willis Reed playing Game 7, but still have a place in Knicks history, especially for die-hard fans. Here is an archive of all the stories featured so far. With the NCAA Basketball Tournament into full swing, I thought it would be fun to spotlight a point in history where a team’s success in the tournament directly led to the …continue reading

Unsung Knick History – How Greg Anthony Killed the Knicks’ 1996-97 Season

This is the twenty-seventh in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of examinations into different games, events and decisions that impacted Knicks history in some way, shape or form. Stories that are not as famous as, say, “The Dunk” or Willis Reed playing Game 7, but still have a place in Knicks history, especially for die-hard fans. Here is an archive of all the stories featured so far. John Lennon once said that “Instant Karma’s gonna get you, gonna knock you right on the head.” However, in the case of the Knicks and their infamous 1993 brawl against the …continue reading

Unsung Knick History – The FIRST Notable Knick #15

This is the twenty-sixth in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of examinations into different games, events and decisions that impacted Knicks history in some way, shape or form. Stories that are not as famous as, say, “The Dunk” or Willis Reed playing Game 7, but still have a place in Knicks history, especially for die-hard fans. Here is an archive of all the stories featured so far. There has recently been some discussion about the number 15, specifically about how Carmelo Anthony has worn the number on his uniforms since college but cannot wear it as a Knick …continue reading

Unsung Knick History – There Are No Station Wagons In Basketball!

This is the twenty-fifth in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of examinations into different games, events and decisions that impacted Knicks history in some way, shape or form. Stories that are not as famous as, say, “The Dunk” or Willis Reed playing Game 7, but still have a place in Knicks history, especially for die-hard fans. Here is an archive of all the stories featured so far. Why yes, that is an A League of Their Own reference. Thanks for noticing. This week’s piece is slightly off the beaten path in the sense that while it is definitely …continue reading

Unsung Knick History – Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Just Get Swept

This is the twenty-fourth in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of examinations into different games, events and decisions that impacted Knicks history in some way, shape or form. Stories that are not as famous as, say, “The Dunk” or Willis Reed playing Game 7, but still have a place in Knicks history, especially for die-hard fans. Here is an archive of all the stories featured so far.

Last week, I wrote about how the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks finished off the 1999 National Basketball Association (NBA) season with one of the more bizarre games you’ll see, with both teams going into the game hoping that they would lose, as the Heat wanted the Knicks to get the #7 seed and play the Pacers while the Knicks wanted to remain the #8 seed and play the Heat. Jockeying for playoff positioning is a somewhat standard practice, but it is a practice that could backfire spectacularly if you’re not lucky.

The 1996-97 Charlotte Hornets were not lucky.

Unsung Knick History – Duane Causwell, Iverson’s Big Steal and the Game No One Wanted to Win

This is the twenty-third in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of examinations into different games, events and decisions that impacted Knicks history in some way, shape or form. Stories that are not as famous as, say, “The Dunk” or Willis Reed playing Game 7, but still have a place in Knicks history, especially for die-hard fans. Here is an archive of all the stories featured so far.

Remember last week’s column about the 20-point comeback the Knicks had against the Miami Heat during the 1999 season? The comeback that spurred the Knicks on to make the playoffs? I originally was going to write about a much odder game from the 1999 season, but I figured that I would be remiss in not mentioning the comeback story first. Now that I’ve done so, we can examine one of the strangest games that the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat ever played – May 5, 1999, the game that neither team wanted to win!

Unsung Knick History – The Comeback That Saved a Season

This is the twenty-second in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of examinations into different games, events and decisions that impacted Knicks history in some way, shape or form. Stories that are not as famous as, say, “The Dunk” or Willis Reed playing Game 7, but still have a place in Knicks history, especially for die-hard fans. Here is an archive of all the stories featured so far.

NOTE: This is the first of two spotlights on games from the 1999 regular season.

When you look back upon the Knicks’ miraculous run to the NBA Finals in 1999, it is sometimes difficult to remember just how bleak things looked earlier in the season. On Monday, April 19th, the Knicks lost to the Philadelphia 76ers (on a last second miss by Patrick Ewing, one of seemingly 453 last second missed by Ewing that season), bringing their season record to 21-21, with 8 games left to play in the season. They were 1/2 games behind the Charlotte Hornets for the #8 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets had just beaten them badly a game earlier and the Knicks had to face them two more times. The Knicks were also just a game ahead of the Toronto Raptors. Things looked bleak. Knick general manager Ernie Grunfeld and coach Jeff Van Gundy were set against each other. Knick President Dave Checketts sided with Van Gundy…at least temporarily, and demoted Grunfeld on April 20th.

Ewing finally hit a big shot in a dramatic win against the Hornets on Friday, April 23rd. After making the first free throw to give the Knicks a two-point lead with 40 seconds to go, Camby missed the second free throw but managed to retrieve his own miss. Ewing then knocked down an ugly runner over over Derrick Coleman to give the Knicks a four-point lead with under 30 seconds to play. So the Knicks moved a half game ahead of the Hornets for the #8 seed. Still, the Knicks’ next three games were on the road – the Miami Heat, the Hornets and the Atlanta Hawks.

When their game began against the Heat on Sunday, April 25th, the Knicks were tied with both the Hornets and the Toronto Raptors, with each team having the same 22-21 record. So to say that this game against their hated rivals, the Heat, would make or break their season, would not be saying too much.

And they would be playing without Patrick Ewing.

What happened next very possibly gave the Knicks the confidence they needed to face the Heat in the 1999 Playoffs. It was a game where, in the locker room after it ended, the Heat’s Tim Hardaway had to say, ‘This is about as bad as it gets.”

Read on to find out why it was “as bad as it gets”!