2012 NBA Playoffs: How Baron Davis' Injury Puts an End to Knicks Season

Kevin HolzContributor IMay 7, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03:  Baron Davis #85 of the New York Knicks looks on dejected from the bench in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Down three games to none against the Heat, the Knicks were going to need every break and bounce to go their way if they were going to make the series somewhat competitive.  

When Baron Davis went down in a crumpled, cringe-inducing heap during the latter part of Game 4 on Sunday, the Knicks' flimsy chances at continuing their season went down with him.

The Knicks already had their backs against the wall going into Game 4, having been decimated by injuries at the guard position.  

Rookie guard Iman Shumpert blew out his ACL in Game 1 of the playoffs against the Heat.  The injury ended the Knicks' best defensive guard's season.  In late March, the Knicks lost midseason sensation Jeremy Lin to knee surgery.  Lin could return for a Round 2, but the Knicks will not live to see it.

Even Baron Davis himself has not been healthy all season.  He missed the first 32 games of the season with a herniated disk in his back and has not put up overly impressive stats. 

This season he averaged 6.1 PPG and 4.9 APG, but in the playoffs he was playing better and seeing significant minutes. In the four games, all of which he started, he was averaging 7.8 points and was shooting 47 percent from the field.

The biggest loss of Baron Davis is from a depth perspective.  If Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are playing well, the Knicks can score in bunches and hang with any team in the NBA, but they need a facilitator, and after all of the injuries, Baron had to be that guy.  

Now the assignment moves Mike Bibby, who will be 34 in a week.  

Bibby hit some clutch shots down the stretch in Game 4, but Davis has the ability to get on a bit of a hot streak, as evidenced by shooting 66 and 62 percent from the floor in Games 1 and 2 respectively.  

The Knicks will have to put the ball in Bibby's hands.  Bibby is averaging a mere 2.6 PPG and 2.1 APG.

Can you visualize news reports and lead stories about Mike Bibby distributing the ball so effectively that he leads the Knicks to a historic comeback against the Miami Heat?  

I can't either.