Harris DeckerFriday 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.