We’re not sure how much more clear we can make it than we did in that headline: The Knicks lost by 50 points. At home. To the Mavericks, a team playing without Jason Kidd. It was the worst loss by the Knicks in the history of Madison Square Garden.
Understandably, the Knicks weren’t in much of a mood to talk about it afterward; most of the quotes sound like they were given while sprinting out of the room (“It’s hard to even comment on this game,” Mike D’Antoni said). Apparently the Knicks lost by 62 in Syracuse on Christmas Day back in 1960, but that couldn’t have been much worse than this one.
It gives us no pleasure to say this, but we’re considering the Knicks playoff boomlet over. They’ve lost six of eight, look helpless on defense (again) and, for one of the rare times in D’Antoni’s tenure, resembled one of those old, bloated Isiah Thomas teams. The times are grim.
The Knicks’ playoff odds have collapsed to a dreary 8.8 percent. They have six winnable games coming up: home against Minnesota, Toronto, Washington, and Milwaukee, and on the road against Washington and Minnesota. We think they probably need to go 5–1 to those games to have any hope of even pretending to be a playoff contender. If that doesn’t happen … well, the Knicks roster could very well change, very fast, very dramatically. We’ll know soon. We think the only thing more shocking than a team losing by 50 at home would be a team losing by 50 at home and then suddenly going on a hot streak. It might be time to stop dreaming. Man. We wanted it so bad.