James Dolan gloats about Knicks’ return to playoffs
New York Knicks owner James Dolan has taken a lot of crap for the franchise’s struggles in recent years, and rightfully so. However, Dolan is now in position to gloat a bit thanks to his Knicks shocking the world and finishing with the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference after many expected them to be one of the worst teams in the NBA in 2020-21.
Dolan spoke to the media Monday after New York ended the regular season with a tight win over the Boston Celtics to earn that No. 4 seed over the Atlanta Hawks. Needless to say, Dolan is psyched to be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013:
James Dolan on the Knicks:
"I know it's been a long time. Believe me, I know it's been a long time. People tell me every day. But we're back. We're in the playoffs. It couldn't come at a better time for New York. I hope our team does well and I hope we lift the spirits of NY."
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) May 17, 2021
The Knicks finished with a 41-31 record in the first full season for president Leon Rose and head coach Tom Thibodeau. Thibs established a culture of strong defense on the team, with New York ranking No. 4 in defensive rating in 2020-21.
Meanwhile, Julius Randle blossomed into an All-Star to lead the way offensively. RJ Barrett’s development in Year 2 has also been promising, and the trade for Derrick Rose earlier in the season has proven to be a boon for the bench.
The Knicks will have home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs against Atlanta. Dolan is ready for big crowds at Madison Square Garden to welcome back the team to the postseason for the first time since 2013.
There’s legitimate reason to worry about New York’s offense in the postseason, but this team has been a pleasant surprise all season and will play hard until the very end. Don’t count them out from winning a series.