A little over a week ago, Knicks fans experienced an emotion that they probably haven’t felt in a long, long time in the middle of May. Unless of course you want to count NBA Draft Lotteries.
Knicks fans were re-introduced to the feelings of pain, anguish and heartbreak that sometimes come with the territory of playing NBA Postseason Basketball.
In many ways, the momentum of the Knicks-Hawks series was dictated by Game 1.
In Game 1, Trea Young broke the hearts of Knicks fans and stunned the hostile Madison Square Garden crowd with a game winner with less than a second to play. Young’s theatrics in embracing the fired up, sold out Madison Square Garden crowd have not exactly put him in the good graces of Knicks fans, but his statement in the first game of this series was a simple one.
Young’s play basically proclaimed right out of the gate two simple truths in this series. I’m the best player on the floor and there’s not one Knickerbockers player who can stop me.
It’s been painfully obvious watching the first four games of the Knicks-Hawks series that the Atlanta Hawks are the more talented basketball team.
I underestimated the Hawks’ talent going into this series, but the results of the first four games have not been a fluke in any way. Atlanta is more explosive, they are built better for the modern day NBA and oh yes, they clearly have the best player on the floor.
Trea Young has been able to do whatever he has wanted in this series. He’s gotten to the rack, he’s finished around the basket, he’s set his teammates up and oh yeah he’s hit a ton of outside shots.
Young has left his mark in this series and Julius Randle the best player on the Knicks has not. Randle’s play has not come close to resembling the excellence he displayed on the court throughout the regular season.
Randle has been inefficient and has looked uncomfortable going up against Atlanta’s Defense in the first four games of this series.
The Knicks relied on Julius Randle all season and he delivered an incredible season. The NBA’s Most Improved Player has not played the part so far in this series. So when you ask why the Knicks are one game away from elimination, the answer is pretty simple.
Atlanta’s more talented, better built for the modern day NBA and their best player has outperformed the Knicks best player.
The end result has been a simple equation to figure out. Sadly for Knicks fans, the math is a lot more complicated when it comes to figuring out a way back in this series…