Only the Nets Showed Up to Play on Wednesday Night

Mathematically speaking, Wednesday night's loss to the Nets didn't destroy the Knicks' playoff chances. They're two and a half games out with 15 to play, a number that's clearly within their reach.

Emotionally, however, the Knicks may have closed the door on those hopes. Facing a Nets team without Devin Harris, a Nets team that's fighting with them for that playoff spot, the Knicks showed less fight than Michael Spinks did against Mike Tyson. They sat and watched Vince Carter and Brook Lopez score at will en route to a 115-89 win, and never once did the Knicks appear unwilling to go along with the way the game was going.

It's not worth pointing out that good teams never let wounded opponents get off the mat, because the Knicks clearly aren't a good team. That doesn't mean they shouldn't play with some pride, however, and the lack of it will help write the epitaph on this season.  

After the game, Mike D'Antoni rightfully ripped his team, calling them "horrible in every facet of the game." Hopefully, he's including himself in that assessment, because the coach deserves blame when a team comes out looking like they'd rather be sleeping than playing basketball. He can't make them play, obviously, and only has so many choices of ways to deal with it, but you have to wonder if the Knicks were sufficiently prodded to put forth an effort.

If there's a silver lining to the comatose performance, it is that the NCAA Tournament starts on Thursday. No time like the present to start scouting for someone who can help this team next season.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us