This post was originally intended to go up last week but America was too busy catching terrorists. U-S-A!
The NBA Playoffs are here. A champion will be crowned 2 months from now. Seriously? We have to figure out a way to speed this up.
The New York Knicks are the 2-seed in the Eastern Conference. They are Atlantic Division champions for the first time since 1994. If you followed the Knicks’ season, you have had an incredibly fun 5 months. Carmelo Anthony won the NBA Scoring Title, J.R. Smith will undoubtedly win the 6th Man of the Year award and Rasheed Wallace won our hearts.
90% of the Knicks team can be found on the NBA Live ’98 video game. Kurt Thomas shattered his foot in order to singlehandedly beat the Jazz. Kenyon Martin was just hanging out, the Knicks signed him and he became an unstoppable defensive force. There were two 30-year-old rookies! Iman Shumpert’s hair. Nobody died this season for New York, and I think that in itself, is the biggest surprise of all.
We asked the Three Man Weave to reflect on the Knicks regular season, and give us their playoff predictions.
Oh man. What a season you guys. What was your favorite moment from this year’s Knicks team? I’m sorry, but you can only pick one.
HM: It will forever and always be the Kurt Thomas game. After a four game losing streak, without Carmelo, and facing a Utah team who was 24-8 at home at the time, Kurt Thomas sacrificed his career to get the Knicks a win. Remember, it was revealed BEFORE THE GAME that Thomas had a broken bone in his foot. He went out there in Utah and gave the best 6 point, 3 rebound, 2 assist performance you will ever see. He will never play basketball again, but his heroics will never be forgotten. Worth noting that since that game the Knicks are 16-2. Never forget.
JS: Everything. But if I have to choose one, it’s the MSG screaming their lungs out for Mike Woodson to put Rasheed Wallace into the game at the beginning of the year, as if he was a walk-on. He was inserted into the starting lineup almost immediately after that. ❤ Sheed.
LCP: I’m gonna keep this Sheed train rolling and go with the infamous ‘Ball Don’t Lie’ game. In a measly December game versus the Suns, Rasheed Wallace was awarded a technical for a hard foul and then in classic Sheed fashion was ejected just seconds later for screaming ‘Ball Don’t Lie’ at the top of his lungs. It’s been the team’s slogan ever since and I just love it.
The Knicks will see the arch-rival Boston Celtics in the 1st Round. Will New York finally win a series for the first time in decades?
HM: Besides a brief resurgence after the injury to Rajon Rondo, the Celtics have just been plain bad this season. Anything is no longer possible for Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce has just turned into a repeating .GIF, just trying step back jumpers over and over again. This is a bad team that the Knicks will handle easily.
JS: They have to. The Celtics are nowhere near the team they used to be, especially without Rajon Rondo. Paul Pierce will piss us off and hit at least one buzzer-beater, but the Knicks are just a better team this year.
LCP: The 10-year curse will be lifted in six games over the Celtics. Two seasons ago these two teams squared off and my hatred for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett hit an all-time high. They seriously don’t shut up ever. Now with them being over-the-hill it’s time to bury these fools. EAT THOSE CHEERIOS KG!
Who’s your X-Factor for the Knicks?
HM: My vote goes to J.R. Smith. J-Swish has turned himself into a top 10 offensive player in the league in the last two months or so, as he’s settling less for fadeaway jumpers and has shown a remarkable ability to get to the rim. And of course he remains the Knicks’ number one option when there is no time on the shot clock and all hope is lost.
JS: Tyson Chandler. He’s missed the last few games with a sore back, and who can blame him? He’s carried this team defensively. If he can handle himself in the paint, be a force at the rim, and catch 50% of Raymond Felton’s terrible alley-oop passes, the Knicks will be just fine.
LCP: Raymond Felton. Sweet baby Ray as I like to call him has his ups and downs. It will take a consistent effort out of him to run the team, be an alternative scoring threat and stay in front of guards on the defensive end for the Knicks to go deep in the playoffs. Side note for the Knicks staff: Don’t let Ray get anywhere near a BBQ or Dairy Queen during the playoffs because we’ve seen how gets when he’s had sweets (see Trailblazers 2011-12 season)
Let’s look at the rest of the playoffs. What first round matchup stands out to you?
HM: Is that Pacers-Hawks series actually going to happen? Like, do they really want to play that one? Maybe just simulate that one via NBA 2K13 and spare us all. In the West, I really would have loved that Denver-Golden State series if the Denver had everyone healthy. RIP Gallo. Both the Thunder-Rockets and the Grizzlies-Clippers series should be fun as well. Good grief East, you guys are worthless.
JS: I love the Oklahoma City-Houston series. Besides the obvious storyline with James Harden facing off against his old team after a trade that still makes no sense, the games themselves will be exciting as hell. Both teams want to run and gun. I don’t envision either team scoring less than triple digits in a game the entire series.
LCP: For me, the East matchups are a bore so lets head out west. The Golden State-Denver series is gonna be such a bucket of fun (who says that). Both teams can score the living piss out of the ball, as the action will be fast and furious [vin diesel approves]. The guard showdown of Steph Curry and Ty Lawson will be one of the better one-on-one match ups the playoffs can offer. So basically what I’m getting to is… the team who scores 130 points first will win. I give the slight edge to Denver because of the home court advantage and depth they have; even without Galo.
Give us your Conference Final matchups.
HM: The Knicks are going to play the Heat and there are no other options. I can’t wait to be in the NYC when that series is happening. In the West, sigh, I will pick the Thunder and the Spurs. I struggle with that pick because I really think the Clippers can get to the West Finals, but I really think they can lose to the Grizzlies. The West is fun.
JS: In the West, I have the Thunder against the Nuggets because I love fun and damn that would be a fun series to watch. Each team has a massive home court advantage and feel like college atmospheres. We just need a healthy Kenneth Faried to dunk on fools from the 3 point line. In the East, I have to go Knicks-Heat. It’s the series everyone wants to see, and it was New York, not Miami who had the advantage in the regular season series. The Knicks would have to make 100 threes and I can totally see that happening.
LCP: I’m gonna go the unconventional route here in the west and pick a Spurs-Clippers conference finals. Lob city has quietly won seven straight games heading into the playoffs and has a ton of depth. I think they can pull of an upset here over a Thunder team who doesn’t have the same feel they did a season ago. The Spurs will win in boring and annoying fashion once again, except they can actually score so there’s that. In the east, it’s a forgone conclusion the Heat will be there. It’s tricky picking who they will face, but I hate all the other teams in the east so I’ll chose the Knicks. This would be a dream scenario for every Knicks fan and I pray to god it happens.
And finally, who wins it all this year? Please don’t say Miami.
HM: Nah man, f*ck the Heat. The Knicks are winning the Championship. Adding Copeland into the rotation gives this team what, 12 threats from three-point range? Maybe 13 if you want to include Quentin Richardson. I know he would include himself. This team will stay hot and they are a nightmare matchup for Miami. We goin’ to the chip.
JS: I’m sorry, but it’s the Heat. They finished the season going 37-2. WHAT?! Miami is even better than last year’s team and I can’t stand it. Now that they’ve won a title, the hatred towards the Heat isn’t as passionate this season, mostly because LeBron is too awesome and won us over in the Olympics. Wade and Bosh are still a-holes though. I wish nothing but bad things on them. Go Knicks though.
LCP: Nobody can stand them but nobody can beat them either so that’s why they will win another title. In the NBA, the best player usually can dictate a game and LeBron is just simply the best there is right now. Shane Battier will flop like a fish and hit open threes, Dwayne Wade will still be as arrogant as ever and Chris Bosh… well nobody really likes him.