There's already a great playoff nostalgia thread going, and it stirred up some mixed memories of the last time(s) our Knicks reached the postseason. That, in turn, made me think about how I felt in those days and how I expect to feel in the coming weeks. In short, it's going to be crazy and I am going to be a mess.
Take the jump for assorted brainfarts regarding the playoff return.
- The last two times the Knicks were in the playoffs, the Knicks didn't make it past the first round. I don't remember ever getting very excited for the Knicks-Nets series in '04 (I returned from vacation to find them down 2-0). The first round loss to the Raptors in '01 was just depressing, since they'd gone to the Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals in the two years prior. That '04 disaster caught me at the surly age of 15. Every other playoff run in Knicks history happened before my 13th birthday. What I'm getting at is this: For those of you who are real human beings in their mid-20s or beyond, it's certainly been a while since the Knicks qualified for the postseason. For those Knicks fans who are around my age, it's something else entirely. These are our first playoffs as legal adults. Shit, if you discount that Nets series, these are our first playoffs as Jewish adults. I saw the Knicks lose to the Spurs in the '99 Finals only because I was allowed to stay up past my bedtime. I was really overwhelmed and distraught when they lost, but I never fully grasped what was going on. Now that I have a slightly better idea of how the NBA works, I expect only to be more overwhelmed. I am not emotionally equipped for a playoff run. This next month is going to be kind of a big deal for me and folks my age.
- Moreover, Posting and Toasting just turned four years old. This internet community has never even sniffed the playoffs. It usually gets pretty quiet here around the end of April. We're going to need to establish some playoff traditions, right? That's something I'll be thinking hard about for the next few weeks. Feel free to use this thread and the upcoming P&T get-together to brainstorm ideas. (By the way, I think the word "brainstorm" should be reassigned to a really bad headache or a seizure or something. A bunch of dorks sitting in one place and exchanging ideas should be called something else.)
- The "who do you want in the playoffs?" thing is an interesting discussion, but I know my answer. I want the Heat. For one, I've seen these Knicks beat the Heat, and I like the match-ups better than those of a potential Bulls or Celtics series. We'll get into that more as the playoffs approach. Beyond actual basketball, though, the Heat would be a fun adversary. For one, they're easy to hate for both contemporary and historical reasons. Folks everywhere hate the Heat, so the Knicks would probably get extra support (which could be a positive or a negative, but I think I'd enjoy it). Also, Miami itself doesn't have nearly as much of a fanbase as the Knicks (or the Bulls or the Celtics) do, and the dual prospects of an absolutely batshit Madison Square Garden and an American Airlines Arena partially occupied by Knick fans is pretty cool.
- I understand this playoff journey is a little bittersweet for a lot of us. Not only do we miss the exceedingly likable gang of youngsters that were exiled to assemble this team, but we've seen this group sort of back into the playoffs. The basketball has not been pleasant recently. I feel that, but I still can't help getting excited. I'm staking a lot of hope on things turning around on the big stage.
Anyway, yeah. That's what's on my mind right now. This is going to be nuts!