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sad playoff boomlet

Knicks Confirm That It’ll Be Spring Training Soon

The NBA trade deadline, a date you probably need to store in your brain now, is February 18 at 3 p.m. That is the next day that will matter in this New York Knicks season ... and it will be the last one.

It hurts our clearly impartial, desperate-for-a-playoff-series souls, but this weekend put an end to any hopes the Knicks had of playing past April 14. They couldn't have done worse if they'd decided to play in Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops in honor of the temporarily deceased Pro Bowl. It was bad. Very, very bad.

On Saturday, they fell in the Washington, D.C., game President Obama didn't go to, 106–96 to the Wizards. Just to put the cherry on top of the bile sundae, they lost yesterday to the Timberwolves 112–91. No use checking the playoff-odds report anymore: The Knicks are done, done, done. (Oh, fine: They're at 0.6 percent.)

Just to make everyone feel better, coach Mike D'Antoni said the Knicks are still looking at trades that might improve the team before the deadline, but Donnie Walsh and the brass are not that foolish. The goal, again, returns to figuring out a way to trade Jared Jeffries and/or Eddy Curry. Honestly? They'd have better luck beating the Lakers right now. When do pitchers and catchers report again?

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Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images