Yesterday, ESPN's John Hollinger debuted his Playoff Odds Report, his daily statistical calculation of the likelihood of each team making the playoffs. Longtime readers of The Sports Section will know we're moderately obsessed with this thing; two years ago, when Tracy McGrady and Sergio Rodriguez were regularly starting, we still tracked it every day, always holding out hope for the Knicks even when the percentage chance was down to 0.2 percent. With the report debut yesterday, the Knicks were at 47.2 percent to make the playoffs, and it says a lot about everybody's preseason expectations that even though the Knicks were 7-10, we still thought, "Oh, that's crazy low! No way they're missing the playoffs!" After last night's gross 91-81 loss to the Cavaliers, it's down to 22.7 percent. That's lower odds than the Nets. Yipes.
Yep, the Knicks lost to the Cavaliers last night, and what's scary is that it wasn't really as close as the ten-point margin. After the encouraging win at Charlotte on Tuesday night, there was some hope that the Knicks were close to turning this thing around. But all the ugliness — the malfunctioning offensive sets, the defensive indifference, the overarching sloth of it all — came back last night. In all honesty: These games are becoming awfully difficult to sit through.
Mike D'Antoni makes sure to point out at every opportunity that this Knicks slide — they're 1-7 over the last two weeks — began when Carmelo Anthony injured his wrist, but apparently his injury is some sort of virus that causes all Knicks joints and tendons to turn into butter. (It's still infecting Anthony, too; as Frank Isola points out, Carmelo has hit just 40 of his last 126 shots. That is not so good.) The Knicks had 21 turnovers last night, and there were many times you wondered if, just to be completist, someone was going to fall through a floorboard. Also, at one point in the third quarter, we were fairly certain that Iman Shumpert was taking so many bad shots, and his teammates were so openly angry at him, that someone was going to tie him to the bench and start pummeling him with soap-stuffed socks like in Full Metal Jacket.
The Knicks aren't in a happy place right now, that's what we're trying to say here. They just got wiped out by the Cavaliers.
Baron Davis didn't play last night either, and he almost surely won't be back for Friday's road game against the Heat. OH, YEAH. The Knicks get to play LeBron at the Heat on Friday night. That'll be so much fun. That playoff odds number is gonna get lower before it gets higher. Panic, folks. Panic.