Harris DeckerIt’s amazing how quickly things can change. Just two games ago, the Knicks had a chance to take over sole possession of the 8th seed in the East. Instead, the Hawks spent the night blowing out the Cavaliers while the Knicks lost a heartbreaker to the Wizards.
Sunday, on national television, the Heat drove a second stake through their heart, blowing out the Knicks 102-91. It was just one more loss in a disappointing season, but it felt like the end. While the Knicks remain alive, their magic number is getting smaller and smaller.
What is setting in right at this moment is why the playoffs meant so much to me and the rest of New York. This year, the Knicks are facing a season in which the Denver Nuggets will be using their first round draft pick while the Knicks wait for Amar’e Stoudemire’s contract to expire after next season. There isn’t much to look forward to in the next calendar year and the playoffs would have been the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.
I wanted the playoffs. I wanted them just to help ease the pain of what will be a long offseason. Even if the Knicks were bounced in the first round, it would have made heading into a hopeless offseason easier to swallow. You could say things like: “At least they made the playoffs.” Or “Look how resilient the team was making the playoffs after being so many games back!” Instead, we’re going to head into the summer without any draft picks, without a playoff berth and with a whole lot of rebuilding ahead.
Call me naive, but making the playoffs was important to me this year. The team let me down and even though there is still a glimmer of hope, the fun of this season was sucked out of my veins sometime over the weekend.