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Hawks beat Heat, eliminate Knicks from the playoffs

Apr 12, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT

Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks

The Knicks made a frantic late-season push to try to gain one of the final playoff spots in the East, which wasn’t all that preposterous given just how bad the conference has been the entire regular season.

But that pursuit officially came to an end on Saturday, thanks to the Hawks taking down the Heat with a 98-85 victory that eliminated New York from playoff contention.

Ian Begley of ESPN New York pointed out a couple of facts that added insult to injury.

Not many believed that the Knicks would somehow dig themselves out of their early season hole, but now that their fate is sealed, it’s worth wondering just how much change is in store before next season.

Phil Jackson is firmly in control as president of basketball operations, and seems to be fine with moving forward having Carmelo Anthony as his primary offensive star.

But Anthony can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and questions will arise as to whether or not he wants to be in New York for a rebuilding, or if he’d prefer to seek a win-now proposition with one of the multiple teams out there that will undoubtedly be interested in his services.

  1. 1harrypairatesties - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    Come to Chicago Melo!

    • ProBasketballPundit - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:40 AM

      It would be an interesting experiment but I think Carmelo would get Thibodeau fired which would be very bad for the Bulls. The owner/GM already don’t seem to care for Thibs.

  2. bballhistorian - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    I think Melo should stay…with phil Jackson on hand they can build something together and compete with Miami/Indiana in the years to come…plus hes at home, in the biggest market in the league.

  3. rodge1 - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    I’m confused, cantonbound said the Knocks were built to beat the Heat. Just realized I spelled Knicks wrong in that last sentence but ‘Knocks’ seems more fitting after looking at it.

    • apkyletexas - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:10 AM

      Heat have been beating themselves – 13-12 since the start of March. And they look likely to lose at Washington on Monday. Not real sure what their plan is for the playoffs. Bosh can make all the statements he likes about how this team is finally going to get focused, but this team is putting way too much pressure on Lebron to do everything to have any chance to win. This team reminds me a lot of the Cleveland teams Lebron ultimately had to leave to chase a title.

  4. supremekingz - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:06 AM

    It’s been 42 years since a title in supposedly one of the great free agent cities (New York). At what point in time do we all face the fact that the New York Knicks are a cursed team.
    Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. This team finds new ways to fail every year

    • jollyjoker2 - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:13 AM

      they are doing the same thing as the Yankees do…buy after the guy has peaked. They need to develop good young talent and find guys on the way up along with a coach who can see it. You don’t get a bunch of old guys out there and think your going to just pound people. Look at Miami…they peaked. ..If they lose this finals which I think they will – that will explode the team. You can’t just think hope it happens.

      • marcusfitzhugh - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:34 AM

        The Yankees have won the AL pennant 40 times and won 27 world championships. Thought of another way, since there have been 109 World Series, that means on average the Yankees win it once every four years. The Knicks are nothing like the Yankees.

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:20 AM

        They may well miss the finals – or lose before the finals – but their record then would be three or four finals in four years with two titles. That explodes the team only if the management sees a better future with different players, or the key players see a better future with different teams. That might sell easily to some here, but to those will have spent four years with the Heat, whether in management or on the roster, maybe not so much.

    • atahualpaoxford - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:15 AM

      The Knicks are to basketball what the Toronto Maple Leafs are to hockey…

    • postapocalyptica - Apr 13, 2014 at 3:38 AM

      The Knicks aren’t cursed, they just have an ownership that makes poor decisions. (The hiring of Jackson was the first right move in a long time) As for a championship drought, the Kings haven’t won one in sixty three years when they were still the Rochester Royals and the Hawks haven’t won one in fifty six years. And there’s thirteen other teams that have never won it.

  5. phillysports1 - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    HAhahahhahahahha !!!!! Join the fishing boat Knicks fans ! Lol

  6. lj312chicago - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:09 AM

    Stay in New York and you deserve what you get.

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    It took 43% FT shooting, 20% 3pt shooting, and 20 turnovers; but we were going to make sure we eliminated the Knicks tonight. Great loss boys. Now everybody sits until the playoffs.

    Very weird season. Could lose in 1st round (unlikely), could win it all (a little less unlikely, but still a but of a stretch for this team). I don’t have any idea. Buckle up

    • ProBasketballPundit - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:45 AM

      Are you saying the Heat could lose in the first round? Don’t count on it. It does feel like a hard to predict playoffs though. I think the Nets could make a splash by upsetting the Pacers or Heat but definitely couldn’t beat the top western conference teams. If I was betting I’d probably take whatever odds the Clippers are getting. But then doesn’t it feel like a special season for the Thunder? Who knows. Go Heat.

    • casualcommenter - Apr 13, 2014 at 7:21 AM

      I’ll give you credit for a fair appraisal of the Heat.

      Not a Heat fan, but I think your team has enough to win the Eastern Conference for the 4th time in a row. Granted, the Eastern Conference this year was one of the weakest in NBA history, but it’s not the Heat’s fault it worked out that way.

      As for the Finals…I agree with you. I wouldn’t say I’d be shocked if the Heat won (they’re the defending champs, after all), but the Spurs and Thunder got better this year. Meanwhile, the Heat either stayed the same or got worse this year depending on how much you weight the additional regular season losses.

      It’s hard to argue they got better, as their only additions were Beasley and Oden, both of whom aren’t playing down the stretch. So the Heat’s best shot is that Wade plays much better in the playoffs this year than last year, thereby giving the Heat a boost this year compared to last year when Wade was hobbled.

      • soopreme - Apr 13, 2014 at 10:03 AM

        I think the Heat should try to make a trade with Denver to get one of those picks.

      • casualcommenter - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:49 PM

        @soopreme

        The Heat definitely need more youth. Most of their players are players in the middle of their primes (LeBron, Bosh, Chalmers), or at the tail end of their prime (Wade), or are past their prime (Allen, Andersen, Haslem, Battier). Beasley is bad defensively and has been benched despite being healthy for weeks. Oden is still a work in progress. There’s no players on the roster except Norris Cole who could be expected to get significantly better next year than they were this year.

        However, because of that roster structure, they don’t have guys who would earn such a valuable pick in a trade. The Heat have their own first round pick that will be near the end of the first round, and Riley will have to make it count.

  8. 00maltliquor - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:08 AM

    You know what, ATL deserves to make the playoffs. They’ve been beating teams they have no business beating all year long.

    • casualcommenter - Apr 13, 2014 at 7:24 AM

      The Hawks were really playing well with a healthy Al Horford early in the season. Not a Hawks fan, but it would’ve been cool to see how Millsap + Horford would have done together in the playoffs.

      Without Horford, the Hawks have just enough talent to make a round 1 series interesting, but I don’t think they have enough to win. Still, they were a better team than the Knicks or Cavs, so they’re more deserving of the 8th seed.

  9. antistratfordian - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:48 AM

    It’s for the best. Playing in the playoffs would’ve just been a charade for the Knicks.

  10. smackingfools - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:01 AM

    The east should give some spots to the West.

  11. thewalkoffktxt - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:27 AM

    Tell the Knicks to stop trading draft picks – that’s how you KILL a franchise. Now Denver has TWO first-round picks…how ya feelin’?

  12. ranfan12 - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:31 AM

    Wow, only the first time?

    • money2long - Apr 13, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      Lol. His shock shows how much ppl underappreciate Carmelo Anthony

      • ranfan12 - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        True although I was aware that carmelo hasn’t exactly had losing record in the regular season, although I thought there used to be a running gag about him and the playoffs. I defintely think he deserves a good bit of credit. I remember having high hopes for him a couple of seasons, and some more hope when he made it into the second round last season

  13. ranfan12 - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:32 AM

    Hawks vs Bobcats 2014 Finals

    • ranfan12 - Apr 13, 2014 at 7:42 AM

      WCF* :D

    • ranfan12 - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:09 AM

      0-2

  14. 32magicman - Apr 13, 2014 at 6:07 AM

    So funny. You forced the trade to ny melo. Cant bail on em now!

    • money2long - Apr 13, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      U ever heard of a contract ? Do you know how those work ?

  15. chiadam - Apr 13, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Melo is overrated. The Bulls lost Rose after 10 games and traded away Luol Deng. They’re still the third seed in the putrid East. They also won a playoff series last year without him. Melo is the Knicks crown jewel and they’re not in the playoffs. I’m at a total loss as to why teams would line up to get him.

  16. davidly - Apr 13, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Can somebody enlighten me as to why the Thunder are being reported to have clinched the two spot in the West?

    My calculations show the Clippers with the slimmest chance of taking the lead in the third, conference record, tie-breaker.

  17. burningrangers - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    They were done a favor. Being a Bucks fan and seeing my joke of a franchise be perennial eighth seed chasers in a bad conference, no one should want to be Miami’s punching bag before they get a legitimate challenge in the second round. Better to be a lotto team at that point.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 13, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      When you don’t own your first-round pick, better to get the two home playoff gates.

  18. leahcima1 - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    To cantonjerk0:

    Dear cantonjerk,

    last night’s loss to the Hawks was my favorite moment of the season. The Heat dealt the final blow. By losing they knocked your beloved Knicks out of the playoffs. How sweet it is.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      CantonPeaBrain. Jerk’s his last name.

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