FanPost

How To Think About Seeding


There's much hand-wringing over the issue of (assuming the Knicks don't crash and burn out of the playoffs entirely) which seed the Knicks get. Will we play the Bulls, the Heat, or the Pacers? Many will try to figure out which matchup is more favorable - which team would be easiest for the Knicks to beat in order to advance to the second round.

I think this is the wrong way to think about it, particularly when home court advantage isn't part of the equation. And I hope the Knicks aren't thinking about it this way either. Even though it might be tempting to wish for an easier opponent so that we can still be playing basketball games when Jeremy Lin returns, I still think we ought to look at it this way:

Which team do we want to punish the most?

Let's look at our options:

1. The Heat.

a. Punish focal points:

LeBron James. The city of Miami. Wade. Bosh. Coach Spo. The spectre of Pat Riley and his smug visage.

b. Methods of punishment

Carmelo vs. James headgames. Amar'e vs. Bosh. Shump vs. Wade. Chandler vs. Haslem & Joel Anthony. Novak getting used to, and even beginning to enjoy, shooting with Heatles running at him.

2. The Bulls.

a. Punish focal points:

Richard Hamilton. Carlos Boozer. The lingering sting of Michael Jordan from playoffs past. Mr. MVP, whose team seems to win just fine without him. Noah's scraggly facial hair.

b. Methods of punishment

It's simple, really. Take away their offensive rebounding advantage, the method by which they win most of their games. Put a whoopee cushion on the floor so that when Hamilton gets to the line and does that little side step thingy, there's a big fart sound.

3. The Pacers

a. Punish focal points:

That blown lead from last week. Reggie Miller. Did I mention that blown lead from last week?

b. Methods of punishment

There is something about Danny Granger that causes him to switch back and forth from impact player to ordinary guy. Find that switch. Concentrate on every game without reveling in the good fortune of facing the Pacers so you can make it to a real team in the second round and get Jeremy back.

My conclusion:

You know, I could be OK with punishing any of these guys, but I think the Heat looks most punish-worthy. And you know, I don't think Lin misses the entire first round. I say he comes back for game 3. And that gives us another punish focal point (revenge) and another punish method.

What say you?

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