he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Don't Give Up On The Knicks, Yeth

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Don't Give Up On The Knicks, Yet

With nine games remaining the Knicks are 2.5 games out of the eighth seed and 3.0 games back of the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. The odds are against the Knicks, but do not give up on the season yet. Of the nine games remaining four of them are against poor teams the Bucks, the Bobcats, the 76ers, and the Timberwolves. The Knicks have displayed a lac of focus against the teams in the lower class of the NBA, such as the Sonics and the Blazers. All four of the games I just mentioned are absolute must wins, and should they lose any fo those games the season may very well be over.

When looking at the Magic's schedule (only have eight games remaining) they also have four "gimme" games, against the Bucks, 76ers, Celtics, and Grizzlies. Therefore, this makes the "gimme" games for the Knicks that much more important, because if the Magic slip up just once the Knicks must be there to jump. The Nets, on the other hand only have one "gimme" game, against the Hawks. The Nets schedule is obviously much more demanding and the last week and a half of the season becomes that much more important when the Nets play the Knicks twice. This is yet another reason not to give up on the season. The Knicks need to cut the Nets lead over them to 2.0 games, and suddenly if they can beat the Nets twice, they played two close games already against them this year, they are tied for the playoffs, assuming the Pacers don't outplay the Knicks, not likely to happen.

The Pacers lead the Knicks by only .5 game and although they have the easiest schedule of all five teams the Pacers have not played consistently good basketball since January. I have talked about the "gimme" games for each team, but what about the other games? Well, for the Knicks and Nets I already mentioned the two games they play each other, and for the Knicks all that leaves is Toronto, Chicago, and Detroit. The Knicks beat Detroit earlier this year in triple overtime, but don't count on it to happen again, expect a loss that day. But the Raptors, a team without Bargnani and Garbajosa, can be very vulnerable against the Knicks, considering the Knicks usually lose to 3pt shooting, and those two players are two of the Raptors best. Plus, the Raptors have already clinched their division, which means their starters will not be playing normal minutes, and will not be as motivated as normal. The Bulls have also already clinched the division, but they will likely be playing for seedings. The Knicks also beat the Bulls 103-92 in late December. The Knicks will need to win at least one of those games, preferably two.

NJ still plays Indiana once which will only help the Knicks, because at least one team they are trailing will lose that game, which will allow them to catch up, or strengthen a lead when those two match up. The Nets also play Chicago twice, Washington twice, and the LeBron's once. If the Nets go 4-5 and I'd consider their last nine games a success, but I wouldn't be on it. The Magic play Detroit, Toronto, Miami, and Washington. Their last two games of the year are against Washington and Miami, respectively. The Knicks hold the tie breaker over the Magic so in effect the Knicks only need to play tie the Magic to make it over them into the playoffs.

The Knicks need to start rooting for the Wizards, the Cavs, and the Heat to do some dirty work for them in order for them to have a chance. But judging by how sporadic the Nets, Magic, and Pacers have played this year I'm betting we can count on them.


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