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Professional Basketball is Back, New York! Knicks and Nets Both in NBA Playoffs

Callum Reddington ‘22

It’s an exciting time for basketball fans in the greater New York area, as both local teams Knicks and Nets both have the opportunity to end the 48-year championship drought in New York City. We’ve seen the Nets become a regular playoff appearance over the past 3 years after signing some marquee talent like Kevin Durant, James Harden, and MKA’s own Kyrie Irving. On the other hand, the Knicks have had an unexpected rise to success this year. The Knicks went 41-31 in the regular season, their first greater than .500 season since 2013, far exceeding Vegas early season betting odds of 22 victories. The Knicks’ resurgence has resulted from the coaching of Tom Thibodeau Jr and outstanding season-long performances from players such as Julius Randle (24.2 ppg & 10 rebounds, a potential 2021 MVP) and Derrick Rose (a finalist for the 6th prestigious Man of the Year Award).

The Knicks almost brought home a championship to New York in 1994, when Patrick Ewing carried the team to 7 games in the Finals before losing to the Houston Rockets. The last time the Nets were top contenders for an NBA championship was 2003, losing to the San Antonio Spurs in 6 games. The last time New York area fans saw both teams in the playoffs was in 2013, with both teams departing in early rounds. 

This season may be different. Brooklyn’s all star line-up has them positioned as favorites to win their first ever NBA championship, but the Knicks have been resilient and have remained able to pull out victories. Any way you look at it, it’s going to be a feast for local basketball fans. And the run may last deep into summer with the championship scheduled for mid-July.

Tune in this week as the Knicks are set to play the Hawks and the Nets play the Celtics. New Yorkers have their fingers crossed that either team can deliver the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy to New York, ending the  basketball hiatus for long-suffering fans. Whatever happens, the playoff spirit is certainly back in New York.