Last night, the Knicks were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs, 100-94, by the New Jersey Nets. The victory by the Nets was their 14th consecutive playoff win against Eastern Conference teams. The Knicks, up 6 points with 7 minutes left in the game, actually had a chance to win this game, but the Nets prevailed behind the leadership of Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin. Stephon Marbury, the de facto leader of the Knicks, had 31 points, going 11 for 26 from the field. As always, Marbury vanished when he was most needed, missing his final four shots including an air ball with 6.9 seconds left.
After the game, Kidd said, "With all the talk throughout the year that they were going to catch us, that they were a better team, they wanted to play us in the playoffs; like I said, sometimes it's fools gold. Sometimes you wish for something that you wanted but in reality you don't want it. They got what they needed." The Nets will play the winner of the Milwaukee-Detroit as the Knicks go home to watch the rest of the playoffs on TV. Perhaps they will go home and talk about how they were robbed and how they were actually the better team and will wage-war against the Nets next year.
Up in the Bronx, the Yankees were swept by the Red Sox, losing 2-0 yesterday (box score) and 3-2 in 12 innings on Saturday (box score). The boo-birds were out in force, jeering a team that scored four runs, hit .152, and batted .071 with runners in scoring position over the three-game series. Derek Jeter, who was also booed, went 0-25 during the series and struck out 3 times in yesterday's loss. Bernie Williams didn't do much better, going 1-21 in the series. Maybe it's time to get one of those Yankee Hater shirts.
With their victory yesterday, the Red Sox swept their first series in The Bronx since 1999 and have now won 6 of 7 games against the Yankees this season. For better or worse, the Yankees get a day off before the Oakland A's come into town with their heralded pitchers - Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito.