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Knicks season ends in disappointment after playoff loss to Pacers

Knicks season ends in disappointment after playoff loss to Pacers

NEW YORK (PIX11) — It was not the way we all wanted it to go. But the Knicks were too banged up and gassed as they got boat raced in Game 7 Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden,  losing 130-109.

Indiana set an NBA playoff record of 67.1% as a team.

Josh Hart was compromised with his abdominal injury. The sideshow of OG Anunoby’s return did not work. Jalen Brunson left in the second half with a fractured hand after scoring 17 points on 17 shots.

Indiana learned from Game 5 and were ready and the Knicks ran out of healthy bodies. It is disappointing, for sure. Nothing not to like about the way the Knicks go about their business.

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The passion, effort and heart that they play with. They have changed the culture and raised the level of expectations moving forward.

Now the question is, what is next?

Well, they should lock up head coach Tom Thibodeau long-term. He enters the next season in the final year of his contract.

Must bring back both OG Anunoby and Isiah Hartenstein, who are pending free agents.

The big question will be, what do you do with Julius Randle? He did not finish the season after suffering a dislocated shoulder in late January. Randle has been Thibs’s first lieutenant. He plays a lot when healthy. He is productive and brings toughness as well.

The trio of Brunson, Randle and OG is really good. Could you improve it?

The names that will be bounced around are the CavsDonovan Mitchell, the SunsKevin Durant and the ClippersPaul George.

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Randle is eligible for a 4-year, $181 million dollar contract extension. He is due to make $30.3 million dollars, and the Knicks have draft capital to move.

But here is the rub: the Knicks culture is set by the “Villanova 3.”

Whatever the Knicks do, they cannot bring someone who will disrupt that, which is important. That can get better, but it needs to be the right player—someone who can elevate but not disrupt.

The Knicks franchise is healthier than it has been in quite some time, and there is a reason for that. Talent, of course, and everyone is on the same page. For that ascent to continue, that needs to be remembered as well.

Until next time, New York, I’m Marc Malusis.

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