The fat lady has officially sung and the New York Knicks have been mathematically eliminated from finishing among the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference. I suppose you sort of have to give it up to the Atlanta Hawks, who defeated three playoff teams (Indiana, Brooklyn and now Miami) in their last five games to knock the Knicks out of the playoff hunt.
As disappointing as this is, at least it took until the 79th game of the season before the Knicks were eliminated. 50 days ago, would any of us think that that was remotely possible? It became possible when the Knicks removed “a big piece of the puzzle” from their team. They are now 19-18 since Andrea Bargnani ceased to befoul the Knicks with his presence. Yes, that’s right – a winning record! A winning record in a conference where the #8 seed will not even sniff a winning record this season. Ah well, what’s done is done.
Now all that is left is to:
A. Hope that the Nuggets don’t win the lottery with either their pick or the Knicks’ pick (the Nuggets get the better of the two picks and the Magic get the worse of the two – you better believe that the Nuggets regret the Andre Iguodala trade right about now – they didn’t just give up a first rounder for Iggy, they also traded Arron Afflalo, who might be as good as Iggy is right now except he’d still be under Denver control for a while now). I know some of you want to see the Nuggets win the lottery with the Knicks’ pick, but what’s the point? It’s not like it will teach any one on the Knicks a lesson. The Knicks saw two All-Stars, LaMarcus Aldridge and Joakim Noah, both picked with unprotected picks they dealt, so why would this change their minds now?
B. Hope that Carmelo Anthony re-signs at a discount. There is no doubt that he is returning, as he clearly doesn’t want to play for a small market and the only good big market teams out there don’t have room for him, so he will be back. But will it be at a discount? Let’s hope so.
So that’s that – it wasn’t a good run, but, well, it was a run!