Eleven years. Exactly.
Today, April 29, 2012, marks the 11th anniversary of the last Knicks playoff victory.
And judging by yesterday’s smackdown at the hands of the Miami Heat, this drought may continue.
Especially considering that Iman Shumpert, the team’s best perimeter defender by a mile–heck, he’s one of three players on the roster who’s not a bad defender, period–is out for 6-8 months with a torn ACL and meniscus.
While Miami’s significant edge in free throw advantage (the Heat shot 33 free throws to Knicks’ 11) had many fans roar out in anger over the officiating, blaming the loss on the refs is overlooking the fact that Carmelo Anthony had a horrible game, Tyson Chandler–suffering from the flu–wasn’t his usual self, and LeBron James played out of his mind.
The Knicks were also completely caught offguard by Miami’s strategy of fronting Anthony on defense. It was a defensive scheme that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had not used in the two teams’ previous meetings.
Lost in the complete destruction was the fact that Baron Davis actually played very well in the first half, looking like his old self…before his bad backflared up and he simply reverted back to being his“old” 34-year-old self.
To try to be optimistic, Anthony will likely be better next game–although it is clear he is not in the same class with LeBron as a player–and there’s a slight chance that Jeremy Lin could return for this series.
Yes, Lin is, apparently, healing ahead of schedule, playing one-on-one a few hours before the game yesterday, making lateral movements for the first time (he had been limited to just running in a straight line for the couple of weeks).
Howard Beck of the New York Times reported that the team will reevaluate Lin’s knee soon and decide whether to accelerate his return. He was originally slated to be out for two more weeks (six weeks total), but it is conceivable for that time frame to be cut short now.
(Note: Grant Hill, who’s 39 years old–ancient by NBA standards–suffered the same injury as Lin and returned within three weeks)
Still, that’s a big if for now. Unless the Knicks make drastic adjustments and Anthony step up his game, this series won’t last long.