With less than 20 games to go, the Eastern Conference playoff picture is looking close to set. We’re pretty sure who the eight teams are going to be, and with the New York Knicks playing their worst basketball of the season and propping up a roster filled with pain, a series against any one of the other seven is not going to be easy.
The Knicks are desperate to get out of the first round, and their best chance is to hang on to a top-four seed, which is guaranteed with an Atlantic Division title. But with the Brooklyn Nets just one game behind now, even that is at stake.
Amar’e Stoudemire is gone for the duration, and Rasheed Wallace isn’t around any longer to contribute his size.
Marcus Camby has managed less than 200 minutes total. Kenyon Martin has been serviceable, but he’s not enough to change the Knicks’ course.
Ronnie Brewer is gone, Iman Shumpert has been lacking and James White is awful, so the magic at the start of the season with Carmelo Anthony at the 4 has disappeared.
And that’s when Anthony is playing. According to ESPN, “He will have the knee drained, but has no timetable for a return.” We’ve heard that before.
Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton, that dynamic backcourt of the first 30 games, have fallen off.
Now Tyson Chandler is hurt, too, and Kurt Thomas is getting the start.
The Knicks are in trouble. Any way you look at it, the postseason is going to be an uphill battle.