2005_02_sisiahandstar.jpgHave you ignored basketball this year until now? Don't worry, Gothamist Sports has sympathy for you, the casual hoops fan. Now that NFL season is over and the NHL doesn't even bother to play, we've assembled a half-season recap to help you catch up.

This quick list of local NBA developments should be handy for starting a conversation on your next sports bar trip (or, perhaps at the next Gothamist/Knicks speed dating event!) So, without further ado:

The 2004-05 Knicks:
- Made playoffs last year; shut out by Nets
- Traded for Jamal Crawford
- Have the NBA's highest payroll
- Started fairly strong with 16-13 record, then began to brag
- Early injuries hit several players
- Immediately became terrible (5-19 since)
- Fired coach Lenny Wilkens; hired Herb Williams as interim replacement
- Narrow losses a nightly event
- Little to no trade possibilities
- Love to speculate about big-name coaches for next year (Phil Jackson, Larry Brown)
- Continue to flounder; heading for the lotto

The 2004-05 Nets:
- Made it to the second round of last year's playoffs
- New owner Bruce Ratner decides to cut payroll until Brooklyn move
- Team lets both All-Star Kenyon Martin and key player Kerry Kittles walk over the summer
- This angered Jason Kidd, who asked for a trade
- Kidd begins season with serious injury; team is awful
- Richard Jefferson suffered season-ending injury; all hope is lost
- Rod Thorn somehow traded spare parts for Vince Carter
- Carter’s game reappeared; Nets begin winning and looking good(ish)
- Kidd still talking trade (to Minnesota)
- Acquired Cliff Robinson for defense
- Chance to win a weak division at 23-30

For more on the season, check out the Nets and Knicks highs and lows of the season and a Knicks playoff plan from the New York Post, and the Star-Ledger's Nets recap.

Image from NBA.com