Knicks, Wizards Eliminated from Playoff Contention After Hawks' Win over Cavs

Erin WalshApril 1, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 18: Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks is guarded by Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards during the second half of the game at Madison Square Garden on March 18, 2022 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 Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

The New York Knicks and Washington Wizards have been eliminated from playoff contention following the Atlanta Hawks' 131-107 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday. 

Fred Katz @FredKatz

With the Hawks’ 131-107 win over the Cavaliers, the Knicks and Wizards have been eliminated from postseason contention.

Washington sits 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 33-43 record, while New York is 11th with a 34-43 record. 

The 2021-22 campaign has been a highly disappointing one for the Knicks, who reached the playoffs last season after finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 41-31 record. 

New York had high hopes this year after adding Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker before the season and trading for Cam Reddish in mid-January. However, none of those additions have worked out.

The Knicks and Walker agreed last month to have him sit out the remainder of the season due to ongoing issues with his knee and his subpar performance through 37 games. He was averaging 11.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists before being shut down. It had been his worst season in the league. 

As for Fournier, he is also in the midst of a subpar season, averaging 14.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists through 75 games. For comparison, he averaged 17.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists during the 2020-21 campaign. 

Reddish, meanwhile, has seen minimal time on the court since being acquired from the Hawks. So he's not as much to blame for the team's lack of success this year. 

In addition, Derrick Rose, the team's starting point guard, has appeared in just 26 games this year. He underwent surgery on his ankle and hasn't played since Dec. 16. 

As for the Wizards, this season has been similarly disappointing after they reached the playoffs during the 2020-21 campaign. Washington traded Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers during the offseason in exchange for Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Harrell, however, is now with the Charlotte Hornets.

The Wizards also signed Spencer Dinwiddie over the offseason, but he struggled with the franchise and ended up being traded to the Dallas Mavericks at the deadline. 

And much like the Knicks, Washington is also missing one of its best players in Bradley Beal, who is out for the season after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a torn ligament in his wrist.

With both teams now officially eliminated from playoff contention, they can focus on ways to improve their squads entering the 2022-23 season.