|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBADid the Knicks ever really stand a chance in defeating the defending Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat? Probably not, but with the roller coaster of a season that this New York team gave us, we believed anything to be possible going into the playoffs.
New York fans seemed to believe that, with Carmelo Anthony playing for the Knicks, anything was possible. After starting out the season with a dismal under .500 record, the Knicks stumbled into a few injuries, and then then-head coach Mike D'Antoni almost accidentally substituted the year's most surprising phenom. Linsanity was born, lasting just about a month and disappearing almost as quickly as it began with Jeremy Lin suffering a knee injury.
With Amare Stoudemire also out for part of the season, the team became Carmelo Anthony's Knicks, especially after D'Antoni submitted his resignation and interim head coach Mike Woodson took over for the stretch. The Knicks climbed out of 9th or 10th place and ended up 7th in the Eastern Conference, which gave them the Miami Heat in the first round. At that point, it looked doubtful the Knicks could end their NBA record streak of playoff losses or hope to improve on their ignominious sweeping at the hand of the Celtics in last year's playoffs.
From the beginning tip of Game 1 in Miami, the Heat were in control the entire way through. Knick Tyson Chandler played the first two games with the flu, causing more damage to his team than helping them, and just a few hours after Chicago's playoff hopes crumpled to the floor with Derrick Rose clutching his knee, New York's Iman Shumpert also suffered a non-contact ACL tear. Later in the series, Baron Davis endured a possible career-ending knee dislocation with torn ligaments.
With Lin out, Amare's hand injured, and Mike Bibby playing the point, it was amazing the Knicks won a game at all in this series. But they won Game 4 at Madison Square Garden before going down in Game 5. The Heat know that this is their year and everyone demands a championship from them, and they played like it for most of this first round. Check here for all of the Heat's basketball sportsbook odds throughout the playoffs. The Knicks have some soul searching to do, but should be pretty happy about ending a decade-long playoff losing streak and defeating the Heat in at least one game while playing at about half-strength.