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Pacers 141, Knicks 136: Scenes from the training wheels coming off

They’ve played the rest. Here come the best.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks dropped their season finale 141-136 to the Indiana Pacers. They ended the season on a two-game slide, their first losing streak in a few weeks, but this loss was painless. Locked into the fifth seed, there was nothing for the Knicks to do but survive intact. You could tell it was a meaningless game because Tom Thibodeau only played three starters 37 minutes. After trailing by as many as 13 the Knicks nearly came back to pull off the comeback, but the pass button got stuck on the joystick, so the last three possessions Immanuel Quickley couldn’t dish to wide-open teammates, instead forcing up one hopeless cause after another.

As the Knicks head into the great wide unknown that is the postseason, the finale mostly drove home ideas or trends we’ve witnessed all season. Mitchell Robinson had 13 offensive rebounds and seven blocks. Immanuel Quickley had 30 points, Quentin Grimes scored 22 and Obi Toppin started, scored 34 and will still only play 15 minutes a game in the playoffs — tops — if Julius Randle returns. Randle and Jalen Brunson sat as they continue to try and heal up before Cleveland next weekend. The cantankerous Josh Hart was whistled for a technical foul for the third straight game, and this time was ejected.

What a terrific season! For the Knicks and, I’ll add, for me. When I stopped writing recaps here earlier this year I worried I’d lose my strongest connection with the community here at P&T. Instead I feel freer to write about whatever’s on my mind (a mixed blessing, I’m sure), and I still come here for contact and connection. I thank you all for tolerating the many missteps that go into this work. Look out for the recap later, and for a bunch of new stuff from a bunch of us during this week as we wait for Game 1.