There was only one team swept in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, your New York Knicks. Then again, there was only one team running out a backcourt of Roger Mason and Antony Carter in crunch time. Yes, the Knicks have an the injury excuse to fall back on. No Chauncey Billups. A banged up Amare Stoudemire but in the end, they are only excuses.
The Knicks should have won both game one and two. Unfortunately, they still haven’t learned how to execute when it matters the most. They then made the mistake of patting themselves too hard on the back for playing tough in Boston and decided to lay down in front of their home fans for games 3 and 4.
We know this: Toney Douglas isn’t the point guard of the future. Landry Fields hit the rookie wall harder than anybody in recent memory, throwing the 2-guard position into question and the Knicks still need another big body or two to be taken seriously as a contender.
The Knicks are back to being relevant, which is nice. Yet, the grace period is over now. One and done in the playoffs isn’t going to cut it anymore…not with two players like Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
Other round one thoughts —
– You have to respect the effort being put forth by both the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers. Neither team will win their series but both have given teams substantially better than them everything they can handle.
– Yes, Atlanta has exceeded everyone’s expectations but I also do think Orlando is a good match-up for them. Maybe I am not giving them the respect they deserve but I don’t think they are a serious threat to Chicago in round two.
– Portland/Dallas has been a physical, entertaining series that should end up going to seven games. Everybody has defended their home-court so far, which bodes well for the Mavericks who have shown they deserve more respect than they received before the playoffs started.
– The Western Conference is wide open. I guess you could say Oklahoma City is probably the favorite right now with how bad the Lakers have looked but Memphis is going to be a handful for the Thunder in round two, if they finish off San Antonio.