On Wednesday night, at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks (54-28) defeated the Atlanta Hawks (44-38) 98-92. Box Score
Chris Copeland led the Knicks in scoring with 33 points on 14-29 shooting from the floor. He added three rebounds, one assist, two blocks and one steal.
Earl Barron, who joined the Knicks earlier today, started and tied a career high in rebounds with 18 and scored 11 points on 5-14 from the floor.
Iman Shumpert played 38 minutes and scored 18 points on 7-11 shooting from the floor. He added eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals.
Mike Scott led the Hawks in scoring with 23 points on 10-22 shooting from the floor. He also led them in rebounding with 14 including five on the offensive glass.
John Jenkins scored 20 points on 8-19 from the floor while DeShawn Stevenson was only 1-11 and scored two points.
Chris Copeland became the first Knicks rookie to have back to back 30 point games since Bill Cartwright in 1980.
None of the Knicks or Atlanta normal starters, besides Iman Shumpert, played in the game.
The Knicks opened the season on a 10 game winning streak at home and ended the season on a 10 game winning streak at home.
Knicks Milestones This Season
First Division Title since the 1993-1994 season
First 50+ win season since the 1999-2000 season
Highest seed in the playoffs since the 1993-1994 season
Set NBA record for most three pointers made in a single season
Carmelo Anthony wins the scoring title by averaging 28.7 points per game
31 home wins are the most since the 2000-2001 season.
23 road wins are the most since the 1996-1997 season.
When you coupled who was playing along with the fact that every Knick was getting hurt, I was cursing the fact the NBA does not have a running clock for games like this one.
I mean, if anything, we all saw that if the Knicks and Hawks meet in the second round and the starters all get the flu, we can still win the series.
Earl Barron was a rebounding machine, Copeland was doing his best Melo impression (Shoulder injury included) and Quentin Richardson played!
When I looked at the box score to do the stats part of the post and saw a guy named Mike Scott led the Hawks in scoring, I had no idea who that was. I thought maybe the former Astros pitcher that tortured the Mets in 1986 had a son that played for the Hawks.
I think that this is the first time in NBA history a team actually said to themselves “I really don’t think I want to play the Nets”. So the Knicks side of the bracket has the Celtics, Hawks and Pacers. Not a bad group of teams for the Knicks to deal with before a possible match up with Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals.
It is really something that we have reached the end of the regular season. I remember frantically changing the post game after the comeback win in San Antonio like it happened yesterday. The wins over Miami, especially without Melo on the road. The attempts at humor with “Knicks Blowout Theatre” after bad losses and the win in Oklahoma City which put the NBA on notice that the Knicks are serious contenders.
This is the season where the stink of the Layden, Isiah and early Donnie Walsh years was finally washed away for good. The NBA pundits may not respect us, but the league certainly does and the playoffs will be a lot of fun coming up.
Amar’e Stoudemire a little less than three years ago said “The Knicks are Back” and this regular season finally affirmed what he said. Now it’s time to prove it in the real season, in the playoffs.
For one final note, I want to thank you all for reading and commenting on the pre and post game reports I have done this season. This was my first season blogging about the Knicks and it was quite a wild ride from October till now.
All the comments, both positive and negative, about my work helped me through the year to try to improve and give you all the best effort I could each day. After blogging about the Mets for the past five years, it has been great writing about a winning team for a change.
I hope you all enjoyed it and lets get ready for the playoffs on Saturday.
Coming up next the Knicks, will be at home for Game One of the Eastern Conference Playoffs as they will take on Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics. The game is on Saturday at 3:00 pm and can be seen on ABC.