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Monday, April 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  43 responses

The Knicks Are Finally Back in the Playoffs


by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

The year was 2004, when Isiah Thomas sauntered over to center court at Madison Square Garden, and triumphantly declared, “Welcome to the Playoffs.”

Nothing that silly or overwrought took place at MSG last night, as New York qualified for the postseason tournament for the first time since ’04.

The expectations for this current team are much higher — they were not only expected to make the Playoffs, but to do something meaningful once there.

From the NY Daily News:

[Chauncey] Billups, in fact, once had a streak of seven straight appearances in a conference finals. His attitude Sunday night was essentially, “Yeah, so we made the playoffs. Aren’t we supposed to do this?” “It’s crazy to think that a storied franchise like the Knicks went seven years without making it,” Billups added. “Every year I never think ‘I just want to make the playoffs.’ I go into every season thinking, ‘How far can we go this year.’”

“This is exactly where I expected to be… in the playoffs,” Amar’e Stoudemire said following the Knicks’ 123-107 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday night at the Garden. “This was the goal when I signed here. I sat down with Mr. Dolan and said this is our plan. The plan has come into full motion and now it is time to take the momentum into the playoffs.”

For now, it’s time for the Knicks and their fanbase to celebrate the end of a long and miserable drought.

Currently the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks will likely battle either Miami or Boston in the first round of the postseason. No one reasonably believes they’ll beat either team, but Knicks fans and media do expect them to make things interesting, at the very least.

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  • GreenBall

    Just a tease for New Yorkers, they will be destroyed in the first round!

  • Charles

    AGREED.

  • NJ4Life

    Sweeping the Knicks in ’04 was the most satisfying series of my adult life.

  • burnt_chicken

    First round sweep. Made it happen, Dolan!

  • Flagrant_foul

    If they get Miami in the first round it’s gonna be an interesting series bc the Knicks best em without Melo ad with him in Miami. Heat don’t have bigs either so they match up well against each other.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Please sleep on the Knicks when the real season starts! Seriously, I CAN’T WAIT for the PLAYOFFS and the SUCKER fans who think these Knicks are just first round fodder. Like that 82 game regular season record is indicative of the talent on this Knickerbocker squad. Melo, Stat and Smooth aren’t going away after the first round. BOOK IT!

  • burnt_chicken

    ^ ‘Talent’ does not instantly translate into ‘team’. …unless you’re Denver.

  • e

    Correction: Lenny Wilkens was coach during that 2004 season. Isiah Thomas was team president. I love this magazine but you guys really gotta proofread for facts…

  • runNgun

    LMFAO… Walsh made it happen. The Knicks are in the playoffs again. Now STAT, MELO, and D’ANTONI need to make perennial first round exits happen.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    this may sound crazy, but i am not counting out the possibly of many upsets in this years playoffs.

  • MookieBlaylock

    Denver will have more playoff success than the knicks, BOOK IT! I see both teams losing in the first round, tho. Im praying for a OKC/Nuggs series, should be fun!

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    @burn_chicken: These Knicks are starting to play as a team. I knew they’d eventually find their mojo playing together. Smooth is playing awesome right now. Melo is doing his best Kobe impression. Stat is getting recharged and ready to step up in the real season a la KG. Melo is obviously the TRUTH but bigger. Smooth is smoother than Ray Ray. Shaq is stumbling. Nenad Krstic is hobbling. The C’s frontcourt aint what it used to be. I’ll like my chances as the Knicks run past the Sixers, and nestle into the #6 seed. Call me a homer, but I LOVE my chances in the real season with Melo, Stat, and Smooth. I must confess, I’m in a Playoff State of Mind! Go Knicks!

  • FLIGHT 9

    Knicks vs. Heat?……. Knicks in 6 games!!!!

  • vtrobot

    Knicks are not a regular #7 team. Would LOVE to see them bounce MIA out. NY always plays BOS hard too. First round matchup with NY and whoever will be very interesting.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aRJDI3v4AM&feature=player_embedded X

    GO KNICKS!!!!!!!!

  • KC

    No thanks to Melo who has made this team worse!

  • tonyknorr

    @iamorange4ever you must be out your mind if you think billups is as smooth Ray Ray. maybe 4 years ago when billups could still play some D. These days the most well conditioned athlete in the NBA is still playing great D and tiring out his man on the other end night in and night out. plus their is not a coach on the planet that would take billups over ray in a clutch situation. Billups still has some Mr. Big shot in him but not enough to be in Ray’s league.

  • neaorin

    Congrats to the Knicks for ending the drought, but seriously their D is gonna get eaten up by either Boston or Miami.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    In game 3, at the World’s Most Famous Arena, I hope Flo Allen sits next to Spike Lee while wearing her “got threes?” t-shirt. The Knicks will give the C’s plenty of 3′s, even the old fashion way.

  • CONEY ISLANDER

    I almost cried…don’t judge me.lol We’re gonna do better than people think in the playoffs just watch!

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Let the hyperbole begin!…oh wait nevermind, it’s been going on ever since they signed STAT.
    Let the hyperbole continue!!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    6 games, max. And that would be overachieving.

  • Riggs

    I am a celtics fan who is also a new yorker, and you must be out of your mind if you think the celtics will lose to the knicks in any shape or form in the playoffs.

  • LandryLegend

    Knicks gonna beat the heat in the first round if they play them. MARK MY WORDS. Neither team has a center. Although melo cant guard lebron, Lebron cant guard Melo either. Top 3 offensive players kobe/durant/melo Not lebron or dwade. Stat has more heart than Bosh (the biggest loser in the NBA, dude is a cornball)

  • http://dodgers.com Joey E.

    LandryLegend, you forgot one thing. Heat play D, Knicks don’t.

  • Fat Lever

    New York is just lucky they’re not in a playoff series with the Cavs.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    It makes you wonder how good the Knicks could have been with Danilo, Wilson, and Raymond back in the line-up. I mean, Danilo and Raymond killed the Lakers last night and gave the Nuggets a big W in LA. Hmmm…
    Still, I think the Knicks will surprise a lot of you.

  • Flagrant_foul

    Joey E: they do in the 4th and they can keep games close with they’re scoring. And they’ve beaten the heat twice this season, rmr amare’s block on lebron to seal the game in Miami? And u forget they have billups who helps the knicks in ways besides on the court, although I wish he would dish it to amare more on the pick and roll

  • bigdoggchad

    Melo 9-4 against LeBron. Just saying.

  • http://www.walshsportsblog.com Darren

    The Knicks pre-trade werent going anywhere; while a first round loss rather than a win is more likely, the future looks good overall.

  • http://www.uol.com.br Flávio

    I am sorry this team with a coach who is not able to defend and aging guards will not go beyond first round. Dolan Walsh should hire a coach like George Karl, Byron Scott or Van Gundy. Look what Karl has done in Denver with the players that NY gave up for Mello.

  • Shem

    I don’t see them even winning 2 games no matter what seed they get. Chicago, Miami, Boston and Orlando would all kill them in a series.

  • Bruno

    NY-Miami is the east series I’m most waiting for

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    @Bruno: I’ve got a feeling it’s gonna be the Knicks vs. Celtics. New York vs. Boston. D’Antoni vs. Doc. Melo vs. Pierce. STAT vs. KG. Smooth vs. Rondo. It goes on and on. What better way to start the first round, than to beat the defending Eastern Conference Champs. Knicks to end the Celtics season just like the Jets ended the Patriots season in the 2011 divisional playoffs. CAN’T WAIT!

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    i really want the knicks to play the celtics and not my heat…there’d be too much damn drama in a knicks vs heat playoff series.

  • ClydeSays

    Like Riggs, I’m a C’s fan living in New York. I’m happy for The loyal Knicks fans I’ve seen at MSG over the years, supporting their team even in hopeless lottery years. But Walsh (or someone) is going to get some defensive minded role players if the Knicks want to escape the 1st round.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    Knicks best chance would be against the Bulls. Even then, the smart money is placed on Chicago. NYC wants no part of Boston.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Co-sign LA Huey.

  • http://NutraliteCom Sean Felder

    I can see the NY Knicks playing Miami Heat in 1st round and series going 7 games.Amp Up Your Lifestyle With XS Energy Drinks.Check me out on youtube(Sean Felder XS Energy Drinks)

  • Flud

    @Sean Felder
    That XS Energy s*** has you trippin’. XS NRG sounds 2Kool4skool….Ha ha ha ha ha

  • http://www.slamonline.com c_cantrell

    about damn time too

  • FoCo

    Gonna be just like old times with Melo flaming out in the first round. You are gonna see at least 3 games of something like 8-26 shooting outta Melo…book it.

  • iambrandon

    cant believe that d antony was never fired. personally i think hes a bad coach. but melo plus stoudemire is awesome!

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