Last night the New York Knicks began a road trip that the players and fans (and even this website) alike agreed would be do or die for the team’s playoff chances. In their first game out, the team showed their playoff credentials. They have none.
In a game that they had to win against a terrible opponent the Knicks put on a putrid display. Losing by more than 30, 127-96, to a Laker team that is second worst in the NBA’s Western Conference.
After taking a 22-14 lead into the second quarter the Knicks then decided to stop playing. They allowed 87 points to the Lakers in the second and third quarters, including a third quarter in which they allowed the Lakers to pour in an astounding 51 points. Those 51 points are the greatest output ever allowed by a Knick team in a single quarter, and also the greatest amount ever scored by a Laker team in a single quarter.
The only word to describe allowing 51 points in a quarter in an NBA game is embarrassing.
This is not a game that the Knicks could afford to lose if they wanted to claw themselves into the post-season, but by getting blown out the way they did they proved they aren’t even close to be a legitimate playoff contender, something that we all should have known given that they are 29-42 on the season.
With 11 games remaining the Knicks are 4 games behind the Atlanta Hawks in the loss column. It’s not an insurmountable lead on paper, but there’s no way this Knicks team can bridge that gap. They proved last night they don’t give the effort necessary to make a serious late season push at the playoffs.