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The Knicks have officially been eliminated from playoff contention

It’s not what you want.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The writing was on the wall for weeks, but Thursday night it became official: The New York Knicks have been eliminated from playoff contention. Annoyingly, it was the Atlanta Hawks who put the final nail in the Knicks’ coffin, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 131-107.

And so that’s all, folks. New York has five games remaining, but they don’t mean diddly, outside of draft positioning, that is. The biggest game on the schedule now is probably Friday, April 8, against the Wizards. Washington sits just a half game behind the Knicks in the standings. Losing that one could help their draft odds.

How did it all go so wrong? The team came into the season with such immaculate vibes. They had shocked the basketball world a season earlier. Native son Kemba Walker was coming on board to solve the point guard problems. They even went 5-1 to start the season, with wins over Boston, Philly and Chicago. Oh well. We’ll get into the reasons behind the collapse in the end-of-season post-mortem. The Knicks have now missed the playoffs in eight of the last nine seasons. It sucks.