Well that was quick.
Going down with a whimper, the Knicks got booted from the playoffs by the Boston Celtics yesterday, falling 101-89 at Madison Square Garden.
Making their first playoff appearance since 2004, the Knicks were swept in four games, ending a rollercoaster season.
“I’m very upset," said Knicks fan Kai Fowler, 20, of Coney Island. "I expected them to at least fight a little harder since they were down 0-3.”
Added Bruce Burgess, 54, Springfield Gardens: "I expected them to win at least one game," he said. "The defense sucks. I'm going to keep my hopes up, [but] I just wanted them to win one game."
Jason Walker, 40, of the Financial District, felt that pain: "They rallied, but it wasn’t enough ... but there’s always next year," he said.
Injuries put the the Knicks at a disadvantage in the series, as star Amar’e Stoudemire played with a bad back, while guard Chauncey Billups missed the final three games with a strained knee.
The series caps a wild season, during which the Knicks (42-40) lost six -straight games four separate times but rallied for five-, seven- and eight-game winning streaks.
Excitement peaked when the team landed stars Carmelo Anthony and Billups in a blockbuster trade, but experts say the deal was always meant as a building block for the future.
"This was another transition year, and we've gone through about half a dozen in a row," said Knicks blogger Seth Rosenthal of postingandtoasting.com. "But in previous years we haven't had all-star caliber players locked up for the immediate future. Now we have at least two and can fill in the cracks around them."
Tommy Dee of theknicksblog.com agreed, saying that this season the team did what they could.
"They basically were a bunch of guys throwing themselves on the floor and saying, 'Let's figure this thing out,' " he said, but added that now "expectations go through the roof."
But next year's a long way away, so New Yorkers first have to get over last night's pain.
"There’s a Cold Stone nearby," Fowler said. "I think I’ll go there. Ice cream always cheers me up."