New York City, NY

Despite Facing Elimination, Knicks in the Playoffs is Cause for Celebration

Genius Turner

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This week, MSG hosted its first playoff game in almost a decade.(James Wheeler/Dollar)

By making the playoffs this season, the Knicks have already won

New York City — It’s been almost a decade since New Yorkers have been able to say “Knicks” and “playoffs” in the same sentence. Speaking of "sentence," Knicks fans endured what felt like an NBA prison sentence for almost a decade. “Long-suffering Knicks fans ride wild superstitions into NBA playoffs,” read the NY Post headline.

No wonder when the Knicks hosted their first playoff game in almost a decade, last week, it felt as if the NBA gods had sent down rain for MSG — the drought was finally over! Indeed, that was one small step for Knicks, one giant leap for Knicks fans.

Coming into the season, most fans expected this year's bunch to again finish near the bottom. The underwhelming roster had all the makings of another, well, lottery team. After all, most of the players are inexperienced. As for first-year head coach Tom Thibodeau, though good — again, he's in the first year on the job.

Ah, but as that old saying goes: in life, the only thing predictable is life's unpredictability!

Not even Nostradamus could’ve predicted this year’s bunch would secure the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. Not to mention, by securing home-court advantage in the first round, Madison Square Garden — better known as “the Mecca of Basketball,” as Jordan once called it — has returned to rocking for the playoffs.

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Nothing beats MSG during the playoffs.(Jehjeh123/Wikimedia Commons)

Spike Lee and all the Knicks’ faithful were back to cheering for “Da Knicks.”

From MSG’s stands to subway seats, fans around the city have been spotted in those trademark navy blue, white and orange Knicks’ colors. Such glorious colors were inspired by NYC’s flag, after all, and once again flooded the City That Never Sleeps.

Even the mighty Empire State Building, last Saturday, couldn't help lighting up blue & orange in celebration of the beloved Knickerbockers.

Similar to the Yankees — when the Knicks make the playoffs, it somewhat unites the city.

"I don't rate Heat fans like I rate Knicks fans," Fat Joe once said. "We are true basketball fans! No matter what — rain, sleet or snow, or even if we don't make it to the playoffs for 10 years — the Garden stands are still full."

Few cities can boast of having that type of loyalty for the home team.

Sure, with today's blowout loss to the Hawks, the second in a row, Knicks fans glimpse the writing on the wall. "It's not dark yet," Dylan once sang, "but it's gettin' there." But that's okay! After all, if this year's version of the Knicks win not another game, just seeing them back in the playoffs is cause for celebration.

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