Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

R.I.P. The New York Knicks’ Playoff Hopes

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!

9 comments on “R.I.P. The New York Knicks’ Playoff Hopes

  1. GoNyGoNYGo

    I’ve never been as upset with a Knick season as this (mind you that I can still feel the goosebumps from watching Willis Reed amble onto the court against the Lakers in 1970). This is a team that should have done damage in the playoffs. Fingers can be pointed all around but I’m zeroed in on Woodson now. As good as he was last year, this year was awful.
    Had he been on JR’s case from the start, it would have been enough.
    Had he he focused on Bargnani as a center, it would have been enough.
    Had he played Stoudemire from the start, it would have been enough.
    Had he not relied on the Iso-Melo offense all year, it would have been enough,
    Had he come out of camp with a set rotation, it would have been enough.
    Had he established a curfew before Sunday noon games, it would have been enough.
    Had he not exiled Peace, it would have been enough.
    Had he inspired Shumpert earlier, it would have been enough.
    Had he taught Hardaway to play some defense, it would have been enough.

    The team took all year to develop chemistry. It was plain to see that they came out of training camp without a plan and that falls right on the lap of the coach. He lost the team. It’s time for him to go.

  2. danvt

    “It’s time for him to go.”

    I wonder if anyone could have done anything with this team. Felton, JR, and Shumpert were just awful this season. Bargnani and Stat couldn’t stop a nose bleed. Spectacularly bad offense plus spectacularly bad defense equals a season like this. Maybe the worst ever NYK season considering the level of the competition.

    It’ll be interesting to see whether a new GM and (most probably) a new coach can make lemonade out of this. The roster next season will most likely look very similar. Oy.

  3. Owen

    “As disappointing as this is, at least it took until the 79th game of the season before the Knicks were eliminated.”

    A nice peg to hang our hats on this offseason.

    I think, looking back at the Iggy trade, the Nuggets probably don’t regret it that much. They were poised to make some serious noise in the playoffs before the Gallo injury. That was a decent time to take a swing at things.

  4. Totes McGoats

    Well I have been sayin since the Monday before the Washington game that it would be a game we had to win to get in. Everybody in my circle had been askin me since last Saturday if my Knicks would make the playoffs. I flatly told everyone who asked me no because we lost to the Wizards and Atlanta was beating teams that they probably shouldn’t have beat. And true to form, they pull of an upset against Miami while the Knicks are playing their best ball- arguably- of the season. A month ago we couldn’t beat Toronto or blow Brooklyn out..or steal a win at GS and win at Utah. Ah well..it was fun to watch though. All season long I had been thinking that the team tuned out the coach, as well as lost their collective heart and pride. The last couple of weeks have shown me that while they probably have tuned Woody out, they DEFINITELY have more heart and pride than they have shown all season. Still, I am nowhere near proud of this season. Happy the team has hope and direction..but not proud. I understand that we miss the veteran leadership from last season, but Woodson’s lack of leadership (i’ll explain) killed the season from day one. I’m not sayin Woodson’s not a leader, just that he used his leadership poorly. Bad decision after bad decision with the worst of excuses. Starting with his handling of Shump all the way through him not playing STAT when STAT said he was ready and taking too long to play the youngins and add youth and energy to the rotation. And in retrospect, he should have played Bargnani as the backup 5. Maybe Tyson and Bargs would have been healthy all season and would have played better in their roles. Not that Tyson was bad, he just wasn’t the Tyson we all are used to. So..I will not congratulate the team on their effort or be proud because all it led to was mediocrity after such a great season the previous year. I’m just looking forward to the upcoming offseason and next season.

  5. DRed

    I wonder if anyone could have done anything with this team. Felton, JR, and Shumpert were just awful this season. Bargnani and Stat couldn’t stop a nose bleed. Spectacularly bad offense plus spectacularly bad defense equals a season like this.

    Sure, a better coach could have lead the Knicks into the playoffs. Maybe even gotten us that 7 seed. A coach who would have known to nail Bargs to the bench and done absolutely nothing else differently probably gets us into the playoffs. But we weren’t really going anywhere because we got worse in the off season.

    Our offense is objectively not even bad. So spectacularly bad offense was not the problem. Spectacularly bad late game offense was a problem, I suppose, but mainly our problem was our awful defense. A different coach might have improved on that, but we only have two or three guys on the entire team who play any sort of defense, and at least 4 who are spectacularly awful (Felton, Amare, Bargs and Hardaway).

  6. lavor postell

    It’s pretty simple to me. We lost @ Milwaukee, @ Orlando, vs. Sac, vs. Philly, @ Boston and a 40 point loss at the Garden, @ Cleveland and 1 at home, 2 horrific one point losses at home to Washington, @LAL. An average coach wins half of those games and we’re competing for the 7th seed. There are also another handful of losses that easily could have been wins with even an average defense and solid in game strategy and rotations. The quote the other day about Bargnani’s injury hurting us because he was a “big piece of the puzzle” says it all really.

    Either way not a particularly great team that was going to do much other than maybe win a playoff series, but just an awful season as a fan in so many ways. If all we do this summer is find a way to get rid of Felton that would be an unqualified success and validate Phil Jackson’s hiring.

  7. danvt

    “Our offense is objectively not even bad. So spectacularly bad offense was not the problem. Spectacularly bad late game offense was a problem, I suppose, but mainly our problem was our awful defense.”

    Thanks for the response Dred. I guess I was thinking about Shump most of all in my summation of the guard play on offense this year. He has just never developed into a guy that can penetrate and he clearly doubts himself out there and passes up threes. Just no assertiveness. JR has assertiveness aplenty but played this season like the Nets version of Michael Ray Richardson. And, Felton, just could not make anyone pay for going under a screen.

    I can see Steve Blake coming onboard in the offseason. That could improve things while we’re still in cap purgatory. And I guess I agree that a better coach gives Aldrich Bargnani’s minutes and we’re a .500% team. The amazing thing is that, if we were only .500 and say, the fifth seed, we’d probably be in exactly the same mood here on this board. I mean, we were ready for ECF and some major late nineties style playoff battles with our traditional rivals this year. We underachieved so badly that we’ll go into next season just hoping we can get the 8th seed that eluded us this year. Anyway, looking forward to JULY. Fuk.

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