Let me first acknowledge that tonight's loss to the Nets doesn't actually damage the Knicks' situation in the standings all that much. They still sit in 11th place, just a few games out of the playoff picture. On paper, the loss isn't damning. I think most of us agree, though, that the New York is now offically lottery-bound. With an opportunity to capitalize on Net injuries and gain ground on the eighth seed, the Knicks laid their plumpest ostrich egg of the season in a 115-89 loss, all but confirming the sneaking suspicion we've had the whole time. The Knicks don't have what it takes to make the playoffs. This relatively promising season has been pock-marked by lapses of dumbfounding incompetence, but you'd figure they could pull it together at home against the short-handed Nets when postseason hopes were on the line. No such luck. The communication, the defensive strategy against Carter and Lopez, the ball movement, and even the uniforms failed to pass muster when duty called. If not tonight, then when? While still mathematically viable, the playoffs are certainly out of the question.
We're not in mourning, though. Especially after the Randolph and Crawford trades, nobody expected the Knicks to even sniff the playoffs. Things are looking up and next season should bring further progress. For now, let's enjoy the remaining games and get pumped for lottery season.