Tonight the New York Knicks will attempt to pull out a Game 6 victory over the Boston Celtics and avoid having to go to a seventh game, which is a self-inflicted situation. New York led 3-0 at one point in the series but couldn’t close out Boston. As a result, the Knicks have dropped two straight games and had everything from their pride to their mothers disrespected by the Celtics.
So naturally to add insult to injury, the Knicks can get bounced from the postseason altogether with a loss tonight at home against the Celtics. But should the Knicks lose, it wouldn’t be the start of a new trend, rather it would be a continuation of one that should have Knicks fans nervous about the big game at the Garden Friday.
Since 2000, the New York Knicks have yet to win a playoff series and have been eliminated in the first round of the NBA Playoffs each time they’ve tried to make a run at a title this decade. New York lost in seven to the Raptors in 2001, were swept clean out of the building in 2001 by New Jersey in 2004 and Boston in 2010 and then lost to the Heat in 2012.
To add to that, Carmelo Anthony has fallen off the face of the Earth in the last two games as his shooting percentage has absolutely plummeted when New York has needed him most. He’s the scoring champion, yet Melo has disappeared when New York was needed him to step up and close out. The questions about Melo’s leadership and the notion that this was his team had gone away, but a 4-game skid to be eliminated from the playoffs would bring that debate back with a vengeance.
Finally, the Celtics have played 12 playoff series which have extended beyond five games since 2007. In those 12 series, the Celtics have won 9 of them giving them a total winning percentage of 75 percent in series of five or more games.
Obviously, numbers mean little when it comes down to who wants it more, but the stats shouldn’t be ignored, even if they paint a daunting picture for New York and their hopes for a title this year.