Sam SpiegelmanSunday afternoon’s loss to the Miami Heat all but buried the New York Knicks and their chances of making the playoffs this season.
The eight-game win streak, defeating the Indiana Pacers and Brooklyn Nets, and temporarily occupying the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference instilled hope in all of us. But reality kicked in a harsh way, as Carmelo Anthony’s shoulder injury and a two-game deficit behind the Atlanta Hawks essentially closes the book on the Knicks’ 2013-14 season.
With two weeks remaining in the NBA’s regular season, the Hawks host Detroit and Boston before traveling to Brooklyn. They close out the season against Miami, Charlotte and Milwaukee. Given how the team has played against Cleveland and Indiana this past weekend, only the game against the Heat looks like a loss.
The Knicks, on the other hand, coming off losses to the defending champs and Wizards, have four games remaining — two against Toronto, as well as Chicago and Brooklyn. Sure, the games are “winnable” in theory, but the hole the team has created over the weekend is likely too great to overcome. The Knicks would need to go 4-0 while the Hawks undergo a monumental breakdown.
In order for the Knicks to play that well, Melo would need to be healthy. And he’s clearly not.
The deep bruise or sprain of his right shoulder has obviously effected the All-Star, as he scored 23 points over the past two games. I mean, he’s scoring 27.5 points per game, so he’s got to be hurting pretty badly.
It’s a tough way for the Knicks to end their season. Their super star, an impending free agent, is in pain and his squad will be watching the playoffs from their couches. Whether ‘Melo even plays these final four games is in question, and if he doesn’t, then did he just play his last game in the blue and orange in another loss to LeBron James and Co.? Will that be his final memory of being a part of the Knicks?
The Knicks’ season is over. And with playoff hopes ended, are fans just hoping the team can retain Anthony?