The Knicks played great the first 20 games, then they played well the last 20-something games to close the season. They were pretty bad the 40 games in the middle (where they played .500 BBAL).
The post season sort of mirrors that formula - The Knicks jumped out to a 3-0 series lead vs BOS. Then they almost stole game 4 in the first round, despite the absence of JR Smith (and a bad 'Melo), but Carmelo missed 3 FTs late, then the chance to win it...
Since then, they've played pretty poorly again. They won Game 6 despite bad JR/MELO, and a near collapse. They've been terrible this series, playing really only 1 solid quarter (the 4th quarter of Game 2). Never had a lead in INDY in Games 3 & 4.
It wouldn't surprise me if suddenly shots starting falling again. JR & Melo get hot. They win at home, then go on a roll... win in Indy and then take Game 7 and shoot their way into the CONF FINALS. It wouldn't just surprise me... it is entirely possible.
IT ALL DEPENDS ON IF SHOTS FALL. Simple as that. Carmelo and Smith will take their 40-50 shots... We need 20-30 of them to fall.
With that said... this team is 0-4 in Indy this year (Indy is 5-0 at home this post season); the Knicks have been pushed around all year by physical teams (CHI, MEM, INDY)... They've emotionally fallen apart when calls don't go their way)... They've lost 3 of their last 4 home games in the playoffs (so much for defending home court this season, which Woody was adamant about protecting); they've now lost 5 of their last 7 playoff games. BOS outplayed them in the first half of both Games 1 & 2...
To be honest... The Knicks have played well for how many quarters this post season? 1 quarter this series? 5 or 6 the previous series? This doesn't tell me we have a run in us... This tells me what most people (haters) said about the NYK were true, and that this team isn't built for the post season. You cannot rely on Smith & Melo, and Woody, and low % 3-point shots, on an old team that doesn't run or procur rebounds; a team that is emotional, has low BBALL IQ, and is quick to mentally crumble?
I'm fascinated to see how we respond. I almost feel like the only way this team could beat the HEAT, is for them to find a way to fight through a difficult situation like this first. You know, pressure makes diamonds sort of stuff.
If not, and this team isn't up for the task at hand... GOOD! Better to suffer this indignity than to go to Conf Finals and lose to MIA in 5 games and strut around the offseason in their mink coats acting like they won a title, accomplished something this season with their idiotic checkmarks.
This team will either get hot, hit shots, be the team we saw the first 20 games and the final 20 games. Or they will lose Thursday night and force changes & self-reflection.