NBA Hoops

This New York Knicks playoff run might have some flukey elements, but it’s not a fluke

This New York Knicks playoff run might have some flukey elements, but it's not a fluke

Draymond Green is running his mouth again. I know you’re shocked. But … his latest pot-stirring comment might, just maybe, be rooted in some truth. Knicks fans are going to string me up for this, but whatever. It’s worth discussing.ย 

So the New York Knicks have become the NBA’s darling and for good reason. They feel like, and in many ways are, the scrappy underdog who has fought its way to within two wins of the conference finals. It’s a beautiful basketball story that Green is now raining doo-doo on by calling it a fluke. Yeah, he said it. What the Knicks are doing right now is a fluke.ย 

From Green’s podcast with Knicks super fan Jason Calacanis:

“In the Eastern Conference, you can get to the conference finals playing very mid teams,” Green said. “That’s kind of what [the Knicks] are doing right now. And I think what this is setting y’all [the Knicks and their fans] up for is what happened to the Atlanta Hawks three years ago, when they made the conference finals and never got back.ย 

“Another team that did this, to give you some perspective on this, was the Portland Trail Blazers,” Green continued. “Years ago [2019], when they had Al-Farouq Aminu, Allen Crabbe, they had all those guys and they went to the conference finals and we [the Warriors] swept them pretty much without Steph Curry.

“They [the Blazers] ran off and paid all of those guys because they thought they had a team that had a chance, and it was a fluke,” Green concluded. “And so, that’s what the Knicks are setting y’all [the fans] up for right now. And it’ll probably be another 15 years of misery that we’ll all sit around and laugh at Knicks fans with their delusion.”

Hoo boy. Green was on one here. But he also … and I feel like I need to whisper this … might have a point? Look, we don’t need to get into the NBA’s conference imbalance mess. That’s a much deeper discussion. But we can all agree the East is collectively weaker than the West. Green pointing out that it’s easier for a team to make a, shall we say, circumstantially friendly playoff run in a weaker conference is not some off-the-wall assertion. It’s a fact.ย 

And the Knicks have indeed benefitted from the breaking of a friendly bracket. First, they got to play the 76ers with Joel Embiid on one leg and suffering from Bell’s palsy in the first round. That series still went six games, and that’s including the Knicks’ Game 2 victory that was a basketball…

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