NEW YORK (WFAN) — So the Knicks’ once-promising season is in the books.
Three days after being eliminated by the Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, New York’s management, coaches and players have nothing left to do but ponder what the 2012-13 campaign was — and what it could have been.
Fans, too, are trying to decipher whether or not the season was a success on some level, or rather a complete failure.
54 victories. A division title. A series victory for the first time since 2000. A return to relevance.
But where do the Knicks go from here?
“I think we took a step forward,” Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald told WFAN host Mike Francesa on Tuesday. “Obviously we didn’t get to the ultimate goal, which we’re trying to reach, but it’s not over. I like the team. I’m not discouraged. I’m a little disappointed by how the season ended, like I think all of our players and coaches are. But now we’re going to get back to the drawing board and see what we can do to improve, what we need to work on.”
After defeating the Celtics in six games in the first round of the playoffs, New York met its match in the Pacers in the semifinals. Despite home-court advantage in the series, the Knicks dropped the first game at Madison Square Garden. New York blew out the Pacers in Game 2 at MSG to even up the series, but Indiana won the next two on their home floor. Mike Woodson’s team forced a Game 6, but ultimately fell short in the season finale at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday night.
Carmelo Anthony carried the team throughout the series — despite some shoddy play in the fourth quarter of Game 6 — but shooting guard J.R. Smith and center Tyson Chandler struggled from the get-go.
Grunwald admitted that Chandler wasn’t “100 percent” healthy in the second-round series.
The Knicks defeated the Heat in three of their four meeting during the regular season, and Grunwald was eager to see his team attempt to upset LeBron James and Co. in the conference finals.
“I personally wanted to measure ourselves against the defending champs, the Miami Heat,” Grunwald told Francesa. “So I’m disappointed that we didn’t get to the conference finals. But I’ve got to give Indiana credit. They played very well, and they played better than us in this series. And now we’ve got look at two hurdles to overcome — at least — for next year … (We’ll look at) what we can do to take that next step towards an NBA championship.”
Grunwald concluded his interview with a message for Knicks fans.
“Stick with us,” the general manager said. “I know you’re disappointed, but don’t be discouraged. I think we made progress, and we can continue to make progress and continue to move this team forward.”
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