The 2013 year was actually very good for the Knicks. The year brought the first division championship since 1994; it also gave us a 54-win season, a playoff series win and the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Some huge wins, a few buzzer-beaters and some high hopes were the best parts of 2013. The year finished off quite horribly, but with a new year comes a clean slate, and hopefully the Knicks can turn it around.
After a year that started off great for Knicks fans, it’s time to look back at the top 10 moments from 2013. Whether it was a single play, a game or a series, there were many moments that made 2013 a mostly good year for the Knicks and that should not be forgotten.
All statistics in this article are via basketball-reference.com.
Before getting into the top 10, we’ll touch on a few of the worst moments of 2013.
J.R. Smith had a good year in 2013 and due to some very good late-season play, he took home the Sixth Man of the Year Award. His 2013 year, however, will be remembered for his elbow to Jason Terry’s head.
After the infamous elbow to Terry and night out with Rihanna, J.R. finished the remaining eight playoff games by shooting 29 percent from the field. His brutal finish helped the Knicks out of the playoffs.
Over the summer, the Knicks decided to trade three draft picks, Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and Quentin Richardson to the Raptors for Andrea Bargnani. The Knicks now lack future draft picks, three-point shooting and toughness in the post.
It’s obvious the trade did not work. To be honest, I was for the trade when it was originally made. I thought Bargnani would put up numbers, spread the floor for Carmelo Anthony and revive his career. I was wrong, as Bargnani has done none of those things, and the trade has turned into a complete nightmare.
The Knicks allegedly thought J.R. Smith’s Sixth Man of the Year award was an MVP award and decided they needed to keep him for three more years by giving him a deal worth $17.95 million.
J.R.’s knee surgery did not scare the Knicks though, as they also politely decided to sign J.R.’s younger brother to a contract. Everything J.R.-related is now a disaster and it started with the contract.
The list of bad things that have happened can be summed up by this entire season. The Knicks went 9-21 to start the 2013-14 season and have already lost more games at home this year (12) than they did all of last year (10).
Coaching drama, trade rumors and blowout losses have been staples of the Knicks' season thus far. A 41-point loss to the Celtics, a 31-point loss to the Spurs and a Christmas Day embarrassment have been the best examples, but thanks to James Dolan and the Knicks, there are plenty more. The end of 2013 was a train wreck; let’s hope that ended when 2013 did.
When the Warriors came to MSG on February 27, it ended up being one of the best games of the season. The game seems to be remembered more for Stephen Curry’s 54 points than anything else, but the Knicks actually won this game 109-105.
Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith combined for 61 points while Tyson Chandler had 16 points of his own to go with a ridiculous 28 rebounds.
Curry put on an absolute show, going 11-of-13 from downtown, but it was the Knicks who got the last laugh after J.R. and ‘Melo each hit a late shot to give the Knicks the win.
The Knicks were down 3-2 in the series against the Pacers and were headed to Indiana where the Pacers had not lost a playoff game yet. The Knicks needed a win to get back to Madison Square Garden for Game 7.
After a decent start, the Knicks were trailing 55-47 at halftime and it was not looking good at all. It wasn’t looking like the Knicks were going to be able to make a comeback against the Pacers, but in the third quarter, Iman Shumpert gave everyone hope.
With 8:33 left in the quarter, the Pacers had extended their lead to 12 points and were trying to pull away to win the series. All of a sudden, though, the Knicks—mostly Shumpert—caught fire.
Iman went on to score 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the final 7:20 of the quarter, which was good enough to tie the game through three quarters. Shumpert gave the Knicks a chance; he put the team on his back and gave them a shot to win that game. The Pacers eventually won the game, but Shumpert’s third-quarter run was easily one of the most exciting things to watch in 2013.
The Knicks’ April 7 matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder was one of the best games of the year. Russell Westbrook put up a huge game by nearly having a triple-double with 37 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kevin Durant added 27 points and the Thunder put up 120 as a team.
Their 120 was not enough to top the Knicks, however, as the Knicks put up a 2013 high of 125 points.
Carmelo Anthony, who had 36 points on 15-of-29 shooting while also corralling 12 rebounds, led the Knicks to the big win. Anthony’s performance was backed by big nights from Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith—not to mention 14 points out of Jason Kidd and 13 from Chris Copeland.
The game came down to the wire and was easily one of the most exciting games the Knicks played in 2013. The two other 2013 matchups with the Thunder were losses, but the one win the Knicks had was a big one for the team's confidence.
In their second game of 2013, the Knicks played host to the always-tough San Antonio Spurs and came out with the victory. It was a big win for the Knicks coming off back-to-back losses, and it completed the season sweep of the Spurs.
The Knicks’ got big contributions from Carmelo, J.R. and Tyson Chandler. Carmelo put up 23 points and eight rebounds, while J.R had 20 points on 9-of-17 shooting and Chandler added 10 points and 14 rebounds.
The biggest impact, however, seemed to come from sharpshooter Steve Novak. Novak put up 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, all of which were from three-point range.
Novak was able to put together one of his games that always made the MSG crowd go wild and it helped the Knicks top the Spurs. The win allowed the Knicks to have a good taste in their mouth, knowing they could compete with even the best teams in the league.
The Knicks finished last season with a tough series loss to the Pacers. It was a disappointing finish to the season, but the year was still a good one for the Knicks.
A few big names were obtained in the offseason and the Knicks again had high hopes. Coming off their 54-win season, the Knicks were looking for their second straight Atlantic Division title, and the start of this season was going to be important for them.
The season started with a win against the Bucks and then a matchup against the very tough Chicago Bulls. The Knicks traveled to Chicago and were up by one with 10 seconds to go after a Tyson Chandler free throw.
It was looking good for the Knicks with two straight wins to start the season and one of them on the road against the Bulls.
Of course, Derrick Rose had other plans. He came down and hit a ridiculous shot over the fingertips of Tyson Chandler with five seconds to go. Since that shot, it really has been downhill for the Knicks. Since that first game, they have lost 21 of their 28 games and are completely lost as a franchise.
But those first 95 minutes and 55 seconds of the season had promise and made fans excited.
Game 2 against the Indiana Pacers was basically a must-win for the New York Knicks. After a 102-95 loss in Game 1, the Knicks could not afford to go down two games to none heading back to Indiana.
The Knicks got off to a good start and in the second quarter were up by nine points when a missed shot from Chris Copeland led to a Shumpert dunk.
Shumpert came from the top of the key, reached back to grab the rebound and threw it down for one of the best dunks of the year. It would have probably been the top dunk of 2013 had it not been for DeAndre Jordan, but nevertheless, it was a huge slam.
The Knicks went on to win the game, but it was Shumpert’s dunk that had everyone buzzing.
The Knicks had won eight straight games heading into their April 2 matchup in Miami against the Heat. Unfortunately for fans, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade did not play in this matchup, but the Heat have still proven to be dangerous without their stars.
It wasn’t a game the Knicks could take lightly if they wanted their streak to continue, and Carmelo Anthony certainly did not.
Anthony went on to play 40 minutes, going 18-of-26 from the field and 7-of-10 from deep for 50 points and a 102-90 win. Carmelo basically could not miss and his season high of 50 points was fun to watch.
The Knicks and ‘Melo were on fire, and it was one of the best Knicks moments of 2013.
The Knicks had just come off four straight losses and were starting to look a little bit shaky as they headed into Utah on March 18, but the 90-83 win against the Jazz started a 13-game win streak.
During the streak, the Knicks had wins over Boston twice, Memphis, Miami and Oklahoma City, and they clinched the Atlantic Division. The two-point guard lineup was making the Knicks look like one of the most dangerous teams in the league.
The streak included a three-game stint where J.R. consecutively went for 32, 35 and 37, and also saw 'Melo go for 50, 40 and then 41 in three straight games.
The winning ended when the Knicks lost in overtime to the Chicago Bulls, but the streak had the Knicks feeling good heading into the playoffs. Finishing the final 18 games with a 16-2 record will do that to you.
On April 9, 2013, the Knicks defeated the Washington Wizards by a score of 120-99. The win gave the Knicks their 13th straight win, but more importantly, it gave them the division crown.
The Knicks won the division for the first time since I was a one-year-old, and as a fan, it was a great sight to see. They were the hottest team in the league and had finally topped the division.
They had reached their goal of winning the division and now had to battle for playoff seeding.
It was great for the Knicks to win the division and it was something that was long overdue, but their work was not done. The Knicks needed to take on Boston in the first round to continue their 2013 success.
The Knicks had home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001, and they made it count this time. The Knicks took on their Atlantic Division rivals in a series that had its ups and downs.
The Knicks rolled through the first three games; Carmelo was averaging 32 points per game, J.R. was playing well and it was going beautifully for the Knicks.
The end of Game 3 brought the aforementioned J.R. Smith elbow, though. After the elbow, the Knicks lost two straight games and had many fans worried they would blow the series.
New York didn’t allow it to happen, however, and won Game 6. The final game was not without drama, though; the Knicks were up 75-49 with just over nine minutes to go when the Celtics suddenly went on a 20-0 run.
The huge run closed the Knicks' lead to just six points, and at one point, the lead got down to just four. The Knicks were somehow able to hang on to finally knock off the Celtics and secure their first playoff series win since the 2000 playoffs.