The Knicks failed to make the playoffs and we could have seen it coming

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knicks_suck“Nobody was expecting this,” Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said of his team missing the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

“At the beginning of the season, nobody ever thought we’d be in this situation, in this position that we’re in right now,” said star forward Carmelo Anthony, who will not play in the postseason for the first time in his 11 year career. After coming into last year’s postseason as the second seed in the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks are a lottery team. But to say no one was expecting this outcome would be a lie.

On Oct. 15 of last year, practically six months ago to the day, ESPN’s computer-based, analytics driven computer projection system called SCHONE predicted that the Knicks would finish the season 37-45. Their current record after 80 games? 35-45 and eliminated from the playoff race.

In explaining why the SCHONE projections had the Knicks faring so poorly, two of the reasons Kevin Pelton gave were the team’s projected 3-point outage and the aging roster. Both proved true to an extent, as you’ll see later in this column.

Six months ago, the team’s response to this prediction was typically and naturally bombastic.

“Sometimes there’s glitches in the computer,’’ Anthony said on Oct. 16. “That’s all I can say.’’

WoodsonWoodson took it even further, asking if the computer model is the one that plays. “It’s a computer system. I don’t think computers run up and down the floor,” Woodson said. “You still have to play the game, guys. I don’t get caught up in that. I don’t have any control over the computers. The only thing I can control is our team and how we play.’’

Half a year later, Woodson and Anthony were singing different tunes about how their season turned so sour.

SH Blog: Melo ponders playing for Tom Thibodeau

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Next time I write a blog for Sheridan Hoops, barring unforeseen circumstances, it’ll be the first day of the playoffs. This is what the whole season has been building towards, and it’s always a fun time. Every year has one of those “where were you when” moments. In 2012, I was mowing the lawn when Derrick Rose tore his ACL when he should have been on the bench, and I was debating whether or not to stay for the last set of a weekend-long music festival when the Heat won the title.

In 2013, I managed to actually be in front of the TV for the big moments, including my fellow Calvert Hall College alum Gary Neal going off in the Finals, and Steph Curry and the Warriors knocking off the Nuggets and kickstarting the Great Denver Exodus.

This year could be just as memorable. The Heat will be gunning for a threepeat, the West will be insane, and the Raptors, Wizards and Bobcats will be there. They might even win a few games. The Knicks, Celtics and Lakers, on the other hand, will be sitting at home. Internet points to anyone who can figure out when the last time that happened was.

Now let’s get to the latest news from around the NBA:

SH Blog: Knicks waiting for 2015; Cavs want to keep Spencer Hawes

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Jeff Hornacek SunsMonday night. 10 p.m. Eastern. Memphis Grizzlies. Phoenix Suns. Only one of them can make the playoffs. The Grizzlies will be coming off a game the previous night against the Lakers. If they win that game, they’re a game up on the Suns. If they lose, the two teams are tied. Phoenix has to be praying the Lakers get the win, because they’ve lost all three games against the Grizzlies this season, and they need to claim the eighth spot outright.

If Memphis wins tomorrow night and again Monday, they’re in. If they lose both, they need to beat Dallas on Wednesday. So it has to be said that while the clock hasn’t struck midnight on the Cinderella Suns, it’s 11:58.

Regardless, they’ve won 47 games with a lineup full of players only the most diehard fan could have named at the beginning of the season. In an era where NBA coaches are more expendable than ever, Jeff Hornacek is proving that the right guy can make a huge difference.

Now let’s get to the latest from around the NBA:

PODCAST: Michael Scotto on Brooklyn’s Playoff Chances and Fixing the Knicks

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The Brooklyn Nets are legitimate contenders to dethrone the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference – whether or not LeBron James wants to admit it – as I outlined in my latest column.

As for New York, the futures of Carmelo Anthony and Mike Woodson will be impacted heavily if the Knicks fail to reach the playoffs – a likely scenario.

With the Nets seemingly entrenched as the fifth seed and the Knicks on the brink of mathematical elimination, I joined WFAN Sports Radio 660 AM and host Demetri Adrahtas. We discussed Brooklyn’s playoffs chances and the team’s x-factors along with a blueprint for Phil Jackson to fix the Knicks and what to do with Carmelo Anthony.

Here’s the podcast in its entirety:

More Basketball Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Sheridan Hoops Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Michael Scotto is a Sheridan Hoops NBA columnist. You can follow him on Twitter

SH Blog: Pacers and Heat collide for top seed; Warriors say championship or bust; Carmelo has dead shoulder

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lebron-james-hibbert-foulThe Miami Heat will host the Indiana Pacers Friday night in a game that will likely determine who finishes the regular season with the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.

It has been a long, strenuous, and often confusing journey for these two teams, but it will all come full circle tonight in Miami.