NBA Postseason Graveyard: New York Knicks
Welcome, to the NBA Postseason Graveyard on The 12th Man, the NBA Hoops feature for Technorati! During the postseason, when a team gets eliminated, we will take a look back at their season, and what do they do for the future to get better. There are 15 graves here, and on Sunday, the first team arrived.
2010-11 New York Knicks:
Record: 42-40 (6th, East)
Playoff Result: lost conf. quarterfinals (Celtics 4-0)
The Knicks experienced a significant upgrade three seasons ago when Donnie Walsh came in to repair the damage under Isiah Thomas. The mission: to clear cap space for big name free agents to come to the Big Apple. While New York did not get the most coveted free agent, LeBron James, they did get a player that wanted to come to New York and take on the challenges of bringing the Knicks back to relevance: Amar'e Stoudemire. The Knicks also brought in point guard Raymond Felton on a two-year contract, after being in Charlotte for the first five seasons of his career with the Bobcats.
Initial reservations and questions on if Stoudemire and head coach Mike D'Antoni were put to rest, given the past history between the two in Phoenix with the Suns, as Amar'e showed his maturity on and off the court.
The season started off rocky for the Knicks, getting off to a 3-8 start, and the critics grew loud, "same old Knicks, "nothing's changed". Then New York went on a stretch where they on 13 of 14, including a season-high eight game winning streak. At the peak of the success, the Knicks were 16-9, seven games above .500, they would match this high point 35 games into the season, at 21-14. While the Knicks were playing on the court very well, there was talks about bringing a big-time star to the Big Apple: Carmelo Anthony.
D'Antoni wanted to keep the 'Melo-drama to a minimum, but it was to no avail. The team kept playing, and became inconsistent during the stretch from their high point at the 35-game mark to the All-Star Break, going 7-12 to reach the break at 28-26. Then the trade was made, sending Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, and draft picks to the Denver Nuggets for Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, Shelden Williams, and Renaldo Balkman. With a superstar on board to join Stoudemire, and with Anthony finally getting his wish out of Denver, the buzz in New York was the biggest in years, and a new optimism in the Big Apple. However, the Knicks did not get the wins they really wanted in the 28 games after the All-Star break, going .500 down the stretch, but good enough to finish ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. New York acheived their first winning season since 2000, and their first playoff berth since 2004.Continued on the next page