Knicks, Rangers Eliminated from Playoffs
April 26, 2011 Leave a comment
Over the weekend, both New York sports teams that qualified for the playoffs were eliminated. The Knicks fell to the Boston Celtics in four games, while the Rangers lost to the Washington Capitals in five.
Starting with the Knicks, there is no reason for any fans to be upset about the team’s early playoff exit. Would a win in one of the games against the Celtics been nice? Sure. But, realistically speaking, this Knicks team was built to qualify for the playoffs, which is exactly what they did. A team playing the likes of Jared Jeffries, Shelden Williams and Ronny Turiaf serious minutes at center is not going to serious compete with any of the top four teams in the East (Bulls, Heat, Celtics, Magic).
Also, when Chauncey Billups went down with an injury, it forced the Knicks to increase the minutes of promising young point guard Toney Douglas and veteran guard Anthony Carter. Douglas is a nice piece and a great player to have coming off the bench, but was no match for the experience and versatility of Rajon Rondo, while Carter provided some unexpected offense in game four, but isn’t a player that should see serious minutes in a NBA rotation. Both Kaiti and myself will provide more analysis and opinions about the Knicks future later this week.
As for the Rangers, their outcomes was a little more disappointing, yet not unexpected. With the series at two games to one favoring the Washington Capitals, the Rangers held a 3-0 lead at the end of two periods. Entering the game, the Rangers were an astounding 29-0-0 when leading after two periods. With Henrik Lundqvist providing some of the best play in his spectacular career, it seemed like a lock that the Rangers would head back to Washington with the series tied at two. However, Lundqvist and the Rangers played terrible defense in the third period, surrendered three goals to force overtime. In the overtime, Washington capitalized on a miscue in front of the net, and cashed home the winning goal to make it a 3-1 series advantage.
The Rangers would lose the next game, and be eliminated from the playoffs. The Rangers weren’t a team destined to win the Stanley Cup this year. With the injury to Ryan Callahan before the playoffs even started, it was hard to imagine them pulling an upset over the Capitals, led by superstar Alex Ovechkin. However, with the stellar play of Lundqvist keeping them alive, there was a chance. Unfortunately, Michal Neuvirth one-upped Henrik and proved to be a force between the pipes.
Both the Rangers and the Knicks have obvious holes on their roster, and upgrades are needed for both to get over the hump. We will have a lot more coverage on both these teams later on this week, so stay tuned for that!