With Hawks magic number at 2, it’s a make or break night for the Knicks

Harris Decker

bargnani-2502Friday night could be the last relevant night of basketball for the Knicks in 2013-14, as they travel to Toronto to face the Raptors, while the Hawks are in Brooklyn against the Nets. It’s ironic that it comes down to one night, with these four teams involved.

Before the season began, then-general manager Glen Grunwald traded Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and three draft picks to the Raptors for Andrea Bargnani. The former-first round pick was viewed by most in a positive light. He was a pick and pop shooter who could knock down shots from 3-point land. Somewhere between nearly costing the Knicks a win against the Bucks and him injuring his elbow, he fell out of favor with Knicks fans. All he is now is a guy who cost the Knicks draft picks and room under the cap.

The unlikely Atlantic Division winners, the Raptors will play a key role in settling the eight seed.

The Nets obviously were supposed to be the ‘other team’ in the Atlantic Division. Most New York basketball fans, whether from Brooklyn, Manhattan or the surrounding suburbs, had dreams of the coming match up between the teams settling the division, winning it for one of them. Things did not go as planned for either team. The Nets had just as bad a first half as the Knicks, but have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA since. They head into the playoffs as the five seed.

We are left with the Knicks and Hawks. Neither deserves to make the playoffs, yet we all know that one will. The Hawks magic number heading into Friday night is two. That means that a Knicks loss and a Hawks win officially eliminates the Knicks from the playoffs. Do the Knicks have at least one more game left in the tank? We’ll find out tonight.




37 comments
C0P0
C0P0

No more torture. Please!

Can't get myself all worked upped for what's most likely to be a season ending loss.


The pattern is crystal clear. So don't fall for the banana in the tail pipe.

Maybe they'll play hard in the 1st. Definitely won't defend the paint well if at all. 

Leave guys open, or will be to slow on closing out shooters on the perimeter.

Shoot a ton of 3's themselves to catch up. 

Probably will catch up, if not completely blown-out, but fall short down the stretch of the 4th.

Rinse and repeat.

Sorry, not getting my hopes up. Not gonna' do it.

Maybe.

JCOHEN68
JCOHEN68

I hated the trade then, and I hate it even more now.

Mr.Boots
Mr.Boots

Bargs came into the league as a Center and played his best as a Center with Bosh at the Four. He was never a stretch forward and he never will be.


Maybe the Knicks didn't do their homework, but a supposed league exec saying that Bargs hasn't been a stretch forward for years tells me that it is probably either a made-up quote or from an exec who isn't involved in the player side of the game because otherwise he would know Bargs was never a stretch four.

chudogz1
chudogz1

So what moves are we looking to make this off season, playoffs or not? I like Pau Gasol for the right price and point guard is our biggest need. We can't have back ups torching us night in and night out, what to speak of the starters. Eric Bledsoe or R. Jackson I like, but not sure how the triangle would work for them. Bledsoe seems like a better Derek Fisher, so I think he might work... Go Knicks

hashburry
hashburry

Relevant.  That's funny.  Can Jackson hire away Toronto's GM, you known the guy who appears to have a plan and the ability to fleece dolts, like Dolan?

KnickelusKnickleby
KnickelusKnickleby

Knicks had a week off to prepare for finale and either they Win all of the remaining 4 games and make their ESPN win prediction and hope Hawks have a major setback or get ready for a long long long extremely long summer 

HypoCrit_calNYKfans
HypoCrit_calNYKfans

As long as Chris Bosh remains Miami's center, and as long as Hibbert remains Indiana's center I'm more than willing to keep Bargnani, as long as the next coach will play him at center! Cause Bosh can't guard Bargnani and neither can Hibbert, THE TAPE DON'T LIE! Even this season Bargnani had his way with Dwight Howard in Houston! Only a fool would give up on Bargnani, and Phil Jack ain't no fool!

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Bargnani has been a 29% shooter from three point range over the last three seasons. He had two major injuries to his shooting elbow last year and will likely never even approach being an average shooter from that distance.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

It's been make or break for about 3 months.

Nothing will change this horrible team's fate.


HypoCrit_calNYKfans
HypoCrit_calNYKfans

@Mr.Boots  


I would play Bargnani at center, put a "rebounding", "shot blocking" power forward up front with him and start Shumpert at the point (Shumpert could average 6-8 rebounds a game). And then ship Chandler out for some youth and draft picks! But I do like Patty Mills to play the point next year! So if the Knicks could get Patty Mills then I would like to see Shumpert as a combo guard off the bench! Either way I would say bye to Felton!

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@hashburry  The only thing he's ever done is fleece Dolan. No significant trades with other teams. Didn't make a strong difference building through the draft.

He wasn't the one that put together this season's Toronto roster.


There are much better GM's in this league, imo.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieNoon now!  Naptime!   Helmet on the pillow and braced shoes sideways!  

Close your mouth, we already mopped!

chudogz1
chudogz1

@HypoCrit_calNYKfans. Ur dreaming, Bargnani sucks! Worst trade in the whole league this year.... Hands down...

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Knicks_Fanatic  Putting the trade aside, he was used in such a bad way, any way you slice it.

Just one more mistake in Woodsons endless list of coaching flaws.


- First, imo, he should've come off the bench. His defense alone doesn't warrant a starter's role (but since Woodson didn't find his rotations or lineups after 50 games -awesome coaching-, this didn't happen).

- Second. In Toronto, when he played well, it was mostly off P&P's and P&R's. Not from the 3pt line, not in isolation. This is what Woodson insisted on, and he never adjusted, even after erveyone saw it wasn't working.

- Third as a C he was actually better than a PF (offensively of course). He midrange game and ability to put the ball on the floor would draw big men away from the paint. Yet his time at the C was mostly when Chandler was out- 


You gotta forget about the trade. It's done and no way to avoid it. Now you gotta make the best of whatever it is you got.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@OLDKNICK  

It is pretty clear that James Dolan makes the final decision on hiring, firings, and major signings. Let's see how long Phil gets carte blanche to steer the ship. Dolan seems to have learned something this year. Steinbrenner learned his lesson after being suspended for a few years. Stick Michael was able to develop Jeter, Posada, Pewttitte, and Rivera and not worry about young prospects being traded for aging veterans. That core was the key to titles, just like the core of Reed, Frazier, and Bradley was to the Knicks titles.

hashburry
hashburry

@VerySilentJay @hashburry  Sarcasm, my friend.  Just saying there is no relevance to this game, and it happens to be agains Toronto against a GM who has done quite a good job at making Dolan look silly.

HypoCrit_calNYKfans
HypoCrit_calNYKfans

@chudogz   


Did you see the Knicks game against Houston in Houston this year when Bargnani had the better of Howard or are you just disagreeing with me because you want to run your mouth?

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@VerySilentJay  

It's unlikely that Bargnani will be traded, so let's see how he does next year. From what I've read about the triangle, Bargnani doesn't seem like a good fit, but one never knows. As far as playing him at center, he doesn't rebound well at all. 

He was supposed to miss 6-8 weeks with his elbow injury and has been out for 10 with no news. K-Mart hasn't been seen since January with an ankle sprain. With the Knicks lack of information on player's health, I wonder what is really going on with these two.

JCOHEN68
JCOHEN68

@thatsagoodpoint @VerySilentJay@Knicks_Fanatic Bargs got booed out of the arena in Toronto. Was he just misunderstood? Did Woody use him improperly in Toronto? My bad, woody wasn't coaching up there.


Also, it's not like the Raptors got worse without him, they got a helluva lot better. 

HypoCrit_calNYKfans
HypoCrit_calNYKfans

@Knicks_Fanatic

Not if the "triangle" is up ahead and the Knicks have Shumpert at 1/5 Evans salary, and with Shumpert more than being a good fit point guard for the triangle!

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Knicks_Fanatic @rico  It depends what the plan is. If you wanna be a player for 2015, you let TC, Amare, and AB's contract run out.

If you wanna rebuild, you wanna trade all those expiring contracts for young assets and picks.

rico
rico

@Knicks_Fanatic  He is an expiring contract so you never know.  I won't miss him if he goes. 

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@thatsagoodpoint @VerySilentJay @Knicks_Fanatic  We'll see how he goes through the recovery process in the offseason.

One thing that I always questioned (and that was in doubt long before he got to NY) was his mental toughness and commitment to the game.

He certainly seemed lethargic most of the time he was on the floor, with stretches of decent ball.

If a coach out there can instill some discipline and light a fire under his @ss, maybe he can bounce back.

But that's a big, big maybe.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Knicks_Fanatic @VerySilentJay  He's not a good fit, at first glance. You can work with him and try to find a decent role for him in it -but not as a starter, no way-.

Amare's post game helps him be a part of it (though his defense will kill us), and Melo fits nicely being the only player that can hit shots consistently.

Timmy's a nice fit with his shooting and movement off the ball.

It'll be interesting who will be in charge of bringing the ball up the court to get things rolling. As it stands, it leaves Shumpert and JR to do it.


We all know the Yakuza medical staff of the Knicks are probably the shadiest bunch in the league. 

AB had a torn ligament in his elbow, so 10 weeks isn't that long. Since there wasn't clear explanation of the severity of the injury, it's up in the air. If there had to be full reconstruction + recovery, 4 months is actually a good pace to recover.

When it comes to Kmart...who knows what happened to him.

HypoCrit_calNYKfans
HypoCrit_calNYKfans

@VerySilentJay

"At the end of the day, we're all pulling for the same thing: to see the Knicks succeed."  


Sadly that's not the case with every "so called" Knicks fan who make comments on this blog. There truly are fans who can be described as "anti-Knicks-ite", whose "HATRED" for certain Knicks players cause them to do, think and say negative, senseless and hateful comments against players on the team they root for! So no, not everyone here is pulling for the Knicks to succeed!

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@thatsagoodpoint @VerySilentJay @bockers @Biggie  

Trolling tendences? Nah, I don't see it.

You always have solid arguments, regardless of whether we're in agreement or not.


Lol...there certainly are posters that bring out the worst on everyone, I can definitely understand where you're coming from.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@thatsagoodpoint @VerySilentJay @bockers @Biggie  Then don't sink to that level. If you get insulted, do your thing and talk ball with the solid arguments you normally have to defend your pov.


More so than being objective, I think it's about trying to see both sides.

People shouldn't be insulted because of their optimism or negative/realistic (that's in the eye of the beholder) pov.


Can people be optimistic to levels beyond comprehension? Sure, we're fans, we're fickle and wildly bipolar if we're real about things.

On the flip side, can people be tremendously negative when there's still a lot of positives out there (I remember people calling the season over in October...that's a bit too much imo).


You gotta take the good with the bad. At the end of the day, we're all pulling for the same thing: to see the Knicks succeed.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@bockers @thatsagoodpoint @Biggie  Jesus, I can think of a bunch of posters who spend their time only calling other posters out, calling them "fans", "followers", or most of the time just insulting for the sake of insulting.

Whatever happened to laughter?


I can think of some that only come out to say, "I told you so".

Others disappear when the team is winning and only appear when the team loses.

Others bet against the team they root for...


So having different pov's now means there's a necessity to insult or spew crap? I thought people could exchange pov's in a decent fashion.


This place every day is sh!ttier because there's less talk about ball and more bickering and unecessay b!tching and moaning.