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Preview: Knicks’ season could end against Pacers tonight

May 16, 2013, 4:59 PM EST

New York's Anthony moves on Indiana's George during an NBA playoff basketball game in Indianapolis.

The Knicks had their best regular season since 1994-95, their first scoring champion since 1984-85 and their only playoff-series victory since 20020. Their season, whether or not it sends in Game 5 against the Pacers tonight, should be viewed as a success and praised. New York overachieved, at one point playing like the best team in the NBA – a phenomenal achievement for an old, hodgepodge roster.

But thanks to the hypercritical media environment in New York, a vocal unreasonable fan base and their own doing, the Knicks will likely be viewed as failures with a second-round exit. The expectations have just become too high.

In the last 12 years, only the Bobcats and Raptors have fewer playoff wins than the Knicks.

pbt playoff wins since 2002

Some act like the current Knicks should erase that dozen years of playoff futility, even though no current New York player has been on the roster more than three years.

The Knicks can’t fix the last 12 years tonight. They can win a game.

But they shouldn’t have to win that game to get respect.

If their closest peers in the last dozen years – the Wizard and Bucks on the slightly better side, Raptors and Bobcats on the slightly worse side – beat the Hawks in a first-round series, we’d celebrate their season as a success. The Knicks deserve the same treatment, no matter how fun it is too laugh at the haughty franchise when it stumbles.

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