Everyone knows the Knicks are fighting for the 8th seed in the East. Well The Suns have been fighting for a playoff seed in the West all season, and their play Friday put them in the 7th spot.
Goran Dragic had 18 points in the first quarter. Marshall Plumlee outplayed Tyson Chandler the entire night, capped off with this play that put the Knicks in a 32-point hole:
Carmelo Anthony (20 points on 8-20 shooting) couldn’t shake off P.J. Tucker’s tenacity and physicality. He had 1 assist on the night but he passed it 29 times, third highest on team (Prigioni led with 31 passes). No selfishness on his part.
The Knicks looked like the same team that got beat to death in LA, and showed up to get cremated in Phoenix.
Is this the beginning of the end? Here’s the playoff picture:
|New York||30||43||0.411||21-24||6-6||16-21||14-22||7-3||L 1|
Here are the Knicks remaining games:
|Record* (Conference Rank)||Knicks Record vs. in 13-14||Prediction|
|Tomorrow||@||Warriors||45-27 (6)||0-1||W- with Bogut and Lee sidelined, Knicks win the boards. Curry too much to handle for Felton, gets a near trip/double.|
|Mon, Mar 31||@||Jazz||23-50 (13)||1-0||W – Utah’s playing for the lottery. Hardaway Jr. and Melo combine for 50+|
|Wed, Apr 2||vs.||Nets||38-33 (5)||1-1||W – Knicks come back to MSG in a slow-paced nail biter.|
|Fri, Apr 4||vs.||Wizards||37-35 (6)||0-2||L – John Wall torches Felton all night. Knicks get crushed on the boards 55-38, thanks to Gortat, Nene and Trevor Booker|
|Sun, Apr 6||@||Heat||49-22 (2^)||1-2||L – After a string of close games, the Knicks have no energy left and give up a huge 4th quarter to LBJ in South Beach. DWade sits.|
|Fri, Apr 11||@||Raptors||41-31 (3^)||0-2||W – After four days off, the Knicks come out energized. Carmelo stuffs the stat sheet in his first game vs. TOR this year .|
|Sun, Apr 13||vs.||Bulls||40-32 (4^)||1-2||L – Bulls come to NY still battling for the third seed in the playoffs. Too much D, Knicks lose. JR Smith shoots 3-11.|
|Tue, Apr 15||@||Nets||38-33 (5)||1-1||L – Looking to avenge a loss earlier in the month and move up a spot over Chicago, the Nets put on a defensive clinic fueled by a virtuoso performance from KG.|
|Wed, Apr 16||vs.||Raptors||41-31 (3^)||0-2||W – In their final game at home, the Knicks gave the fans one last game to cheer about.|
*Stats As of March 28, 2014 ^clinched playoff berth
That puts the Knicks at 35-47. As bad the Hawks have played of late (5-game losing streak), they will likely tally five more wins against Philly, Cleveland, Boston, Detroit or Miluakee.
The biggest toss-up for the Knicks are the games against Washington and Brooklyn. The Wizards are 7-7 in March, with most wins over mediocre teams (aside from the Pacers) and losses against playoff teams. Pretty much like the Knicks. The games against Brooklyn will come down to pride, as the “rivalry” between the two teams gets over-played to the max.
Even if the Knicks make the playoffs and get swept, making it is all that counts. The NBA gets its largest media market + Spike Lee on TV, and we get to see Phil Jackson react to Raymond Felton’s lack of D. Coming off one of the franchise’s best seasons in a while, the Knicks need to save face so Woody can say grace.
Hey, at least we got Phil. Right?