A Game 1 Eastern Conference Semifinals loss isn’t the end of the world, even though the New York Knicks’ effort wasn’t exactly reassuring. There’s still a lot of basketball left to be played between the Knicks and the Heat. If New York gets it together and can advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, the team will make history.
Toward the end of Sunday’s 108-101 loss, Doris Burke said that in playoff series where the Knicks lost Game 1 at MSG, the team is 0-7. History is not on New York’s side, but that doesn’t mean that the Knicks can’t make history by still winning the series after dropping the first game.
It’s hard to envision New York having another game where the team shoots 7-for-34 (20.6%) from three. Obi Toppin hit four of those three-pointers, but he missed seven deep shots in the process. Not to mention, the Knicks were without Julius Randle, who sprained his left ankle again late in the second quarter against the Cavaliers in Game 5. He went through pregame warmups and it seemed like he might play, but he was ruled out. Hopefully, the additional two days off will allow for him to be ready to go for Tuesday night.
While it was a discouraging loss for Knicks fans, it’d be wrong for anyone to assume that New York won’t come clawing back. Game 2 at the Garden will be crucial, though.
Knicks are 0-7 in playoff series after losing Game 1 at Madison Square Garden
In 2013 when the No. 2 Knicks had homecourt advantage over the No. 3 Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, New York lost Game 1, 102-95, at the Garden. The Knicks bounced back to win Game 2 but lost the series in six games as the Pacers moved on to the Eastern Conference Finals. Let’s not have a repeat of that, please.
In 2000, No. 2 Miami had homecourt advantage over No. 3 New York in the semifinals, but after the Heat won Game 1, Miami went on to lose the series in seven games. The Heat were able to avenge that loss in the first round of the playoffs in 2012, beating the Knicks 4-1, so now it’s New York’s turn to flip the script.
If there’s a Knicks roster that can still win a series after losing Game 1 at home, it’s this year’s team. After all, not many thought that they’d be able to make it this far to begin with.