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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

By: Kyle McMorrow

Last season Knicks fans covered their heads with brown bags to hide their eyes from the horror that was a never-ending season, but what a difference a year makes.

Throughout a season of Starbury turmoil, salary cap trimming, roster shake-ups, and Lebron James hype, the New York Knicks have found themselves in the thick of a playoff hunt.

While the fight for the 8th seed in the eastern conference may bring up more laughter than interest, the Knicks have not made the playoffs since they were swept in the first round by New Jersey in the 2003- 2004 season. Five seasons of embarrassment is enough to make any Knick fan want to keep that brown bag on their head and pass out until the 2010 season comes around.

But this season has given Knicks fans hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Those who have cut two eye holes in the brown bag to check out the action on the court are witnessing the unexpected.

Former “key” players from the Isiah Thomas regime such as Stephon Marbury, Eddy Curry, Zack Randolph, and Jamal Crawford, have been sent off or denied court access sparking team chemistry and a product that any NBA fan would enjoy watching.

If the Knicks continue their play, they could find themselves playing Cleveland or Boston in the first round of the playoffs. So the question remains: suicide or improvement?

Although it may be hopeless to think the Knicks could advance past the first round if they were to make the playoffs, the statement the Knicks could make by making an appearance in the post-season could make star players think twice about coming to New York during the 2010 free agency period.

Now flip to the other side of the coin and hope the Knicks lose every game remaining.

While all the hard work the Knicks have put into making this season work may be for nothing, would it be so bad? If they would only be meant for an early exit in the post-season, why take away the benefits of being one of those teams who are at the bottom looking up?

Should the Knicks miss the playoffs they would be lottery bound, and could possibly set themselves up for a top five pick in this years draft. Possible star talent for less than a quarter of the price can’t be beat.

So the Knicks find themselves in a win-win situation, a win-lose situation, or a lose-lose situation, allow me to clarify.

If the Knicks made the playoffs there is always the possibility of upsetting the one seed in the playoffs and continuing on, the Knicks have done it before. They would improve their reputation and greatly increase their chances of luring the NBA’s elite during free agency.

A win-loss situation would be for the Knicks to make the playoffs, puss the series to the limits and fall short after a valiant effort. While the Knicks may gain some respect and increase interest, they lose any chance of participating in the lottery.

And finally the dreaded lose-lose situation, which if Knick luck continues, it will turn out exactly this way. The Knicks would miss the playoffs and draw a low pick in the draft leaving them with nothing to show for their hard work.

As the season draws to a near, the Knicks are pursuing their goal of reaching the playoffs, whether that is or isn’t the best thing, only time will tell.

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