The New York Knicks qualified for the NBA playoffs earlier this week, the first time they have done so since 2004. That earned a 'well that's nice, but you still aren't very good' reaction in the newly-released SB Nation NBA Power Rankings. Three straight victories and a spot in the playoffs moved the Knicks up in the rankings all the way from 17th to ... 16th. Yep, big jump.
SB Nation's Tom Ziller referred to the Knicks as "one of the lesser playoff teams" and added this commentary:
Three straight wins, a Player-of-the-Indeterminate-Time-Period award for Carmelo Anthony and an official invitation to the playoffs has New York flying high. Realists would drop a "but" in the very next clause, but I think all fans should be entitled to a piece of the pie and the peace to enjoy it.
Reality is, I agree the sentiment that the Knicks are unlikely to be a real factor in the playoffs. It would be a stunning achievement for the Knicks to get past the first round. There are three keys to playoff basketball in the NBA.
- You must be able to get stops at critical times.
- You must be able to rebound the basketball.
- You must be able to execute some half-court offense, which means more than throw the ball to one guy and get out of the way.
The Knicks don't do any of those things very well. So, feel good about what your team has accomplished Knicks' fans. Just don't get your hopes up for a whole lot more.
The New Jersey Nets, by the way, are still in the league. They are 28th this week, with only Minnesota and Cleveland separating them from the bottom. Personally, I am rooting for the Nets to win at least one more game. A 24th victory would double their total from a year ago, and that sound a whole lot better than saying "we won 11 more games than last season."