Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Knicks 2012 Year In Review: The Craziest Season Ever
Well, that was certainly something else. Now that we have a chance to catch our breath and reflect a little on this clusterfuck of an abbreviated Knicks season, it really sinks in just how crazy it all was. Every season in New York is wild, but I've never seen one that was basically four mini seasons. These past two seasons are the first seasons that the Knicks were competitive during the era of the social networks, and every game took on almost an NFL Sunday type "every game counts" feeling, heightened by the condensed schedule. Let's look back at this season month by month.
The NBA lockout mercifully comes to an end thanksgiving weekend, much to the delight of myself and millions of black people. A short training camp and really short preseason is announced.
Fan base- Mildly excited
The Knicks win an up and down Christmas matinee at home against the Paul Pierceless Celtics. Carmelo almost singlehandedly brings the team back and hits the game winning free throws on a questionable call. I give up on the team during a third quarter run by the Celtics and play Xbox. Iman Shumpert tweaks his knee in a harbinger of things to come.
The Knicks limp to a listless, miserable start characterized by awful back to back home losses to the Raptors and the Bobcats (who would eventually go on to have the worst winning percentage in NBA history). Mid-month, the Knicks decide not to release seldom used point guard Jeremy Lin. The Harvard grad Asian-American plays a few productive minutes in a loss at Houston. He'll be heard from again.
Fanbase- near suicidal
Lin plays a couple unproductive minutes in a loss at Boston. The next night (the third of a back to back to back) Mike D'Antoni grasping at straws decides to give Lin a shot. Hey, nothing else has worked to this point. He immediately takes over the Garden with an array of three point plays and jumpers. Someone should come up with a hashtag for this phenomenon. Two days later, lightning strikes again as Lin dominates Devin Harris and the Jazz, including a ridiculous three point buzzer beater and the Knicks win despite Carmelo pulling up lame on an alley oop pass. And so Linsanity is born. Before it's over, the Knicks will win 6 games in a row (including a Friday night game against Kobe), Mike D'Antoni's job is saved (for now), Amare's brother will die, Amar'e will tattoo a tear drop, everyone will think Carmelo is the worst thing since AIDS, an ESPN headline writer will be fired and the NBA has about 2 billion more fans. Boneheaded perp JR Smith will sign with the team after he is released from China and immediately becomes a more erratic, dumber John Starks. Little used journey man Steve Novak also becomes a fan favorite. The players go from reviled by the fans to beloved. Even Jared Jeffries gets routinely cheered by the Garden crowd. On February 20th, Carmelo returns and the Knicks predictably lay an egg at home against a fired up Deron Williams. The Knicks will then go on to alternate wins and losses for the last week of the season. Change is coming again....
Fanbase- Deliriously excited and exhausted. Also a little confused.
The Knicks lose 7 in a row. Knicks fans and the media want blood. Carmelo Anthony is fingered as the culprit for the death of Linsanity. His boogie woogie style and negro gyrating and isolation plays have sapped the joy out of the world's most famous arena. After another loss to the Bulls, D'Antoni resigns. Knicks fans rejoice and in Mike Woodson's first game the Knicks beat the even more dysfunctional Blazers by a million points. Woodsanity is born. Lin hurts his knee in a blowout win against the Pistons, the severity of which would be of some controversy. At first, it was said to only be a strain that would cost him a couple games. But, before a Saturday night game against the Cavs, the team announces that Lin will have surgery and will most likely be out for the season. The timing of this announcement is a little fishy, as it came right after the deadline for season tickets to be purchased. Hmm. Anyway, the Knicks go on to win 10 of their first 12 under Woodson to finish the month with a winning record despite another injury suffered by Amar'e.
Fanbase- Back to delirious excitement
The Knickerbockers kick off the month by blowing a huge lead at Indiana. Panic begins to set in amongst the fan base. The panic is tempered by a dominating win at the dysfunctional Magic, followed by the game of year. Melo scores 41 against the Bulls, including the game tying and winning three pointers. Three night later, the Knicks beat the annoying Bucks in what was up to that point the biggest game of the season. Amar'e returns in a game against Cleveland and the Knicks promptly get blown out by the terrible Cavs (a game that would come back to haunt them). Electing not to rest his players and tank the season, Woodson leads the Knicks to a 36-30 record. One game better than the 8th spot, and one worse than the 6th. This means that if the Knicks had lost one of those games during the Linsanity or Woodsanity streak that they usually wouldn't have won, or won the stupid game at Cleveland or vs Toronto, Charlotte or New Orleans, they would have faced either the hurting Bulls or mediocre Pacers. Instead, they end up with the worst possible matchup- the hated Miami Heat.
Fan Base- Cautiously Optimistic
The Knicks have a disastrous first game in Miami. They're dominated in nearly every facet of the game, Melo sucks, Shumpert tears his ACL and LeBron acts like a bitch. The second game is better, but they still lose by double figures. Amar'e open hands the glass case holding a fire extinguisher, injuring his hand and creating a lot of funny photoshops. PTU creates a new column in his honor. Tyson Chandler is named defensive player of the year. Hater J and Johnny Bagels grossly overpay for two tickets to game 3 at the Garden in hopes of seeing one of the all time great moments of glorious New York sports history, but instead witness the Knicks fall behind 3-0. To make matters worse, they sit in front of the world's most annoying Miami Heat fan (and that's saying something). The Knicks bounce back in game 4, behind a gutsy performance from Stoudemire and some big shots from Carmelo, breaking their 11 year drought. Baron Davis endures one of the most gruesome knee injuries in history. It all ends Wednesday night in Miami, however, as the Knicks go quietly into the night.
Fan base- frustrated, yet strangely content.
In summary, that's two coaches, 4 starting point guards, a bonafide worldwide phenomenon, Melo booed, the defensive player of the year, Novakane, Melo cheered, fire extinguishers, aaaaashooole, and finally defeat. The craziest, most up and down season in Knicks history.