Quick, someone call Samuel L. Jackson!
Surely we need a Negotiator to talk despondent fans of the Knicks — and the media that covers them — off the proverbial ledge, right?
Honestly, what in god’s name is going on around here?
Let’s be perfectly clear. If you polled Knick fans and Knick journalists alike at the start of the 2010-11 campaign, you would have found near-universal sentiment that the team would be lucky to win 40 games and contend for a playoff spot.
And guess what? That was perfectly fine with everyone.
You see, a decade of ineptitude has a way of tempering the typically unreasonable expectations of even New York’s most rabid fans.
So what’s changed?
Absolutely nothing, but if tabloid journalists and sports-talk pundits ruled the world, Carmelo Anthony and Mike D’Antoni would be scheduled for purification on the morrow — Braveheart style — for their failure to deliver a championship. This season!
The fact of the matter is that the Knicks’ pre-Carmelo roster was headed nowhere fast. Sure, they were younger, more entertaining, and more homegrown than the current batch of misfits, but they were just as deeply flawed as their replacements are.
So what, exactly, are we left with? A team that is 99% certain to make the playoffs, an outcome that anyone in their right mind — or anyone with a desire to see playoff basketball in The Garden — would have signed up for back in October.
Thanks to the fine folks at PlayoffStatus.com for above table
So before anyone goes postal, let’s remember that despite the Knicks’ incessant futility, they tend to bring it against upper-echelon opponents. And that’s just the type of foe they’ll be squaring off against in the first round, whether it’s Boston, Chicago or Miami.