Beating the Bobcats was the easy part. It’s what comes next that will test every facet of their team.
The Knicks beat Charlotte, 104-84, despite resting three of five starters to lock up the No. 7 seed as the playoffs begin this weekend. The Heat hold the No. 2 seed, meaning New York will travel to Miami for their opening round series this Saturday.
Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Baron Davis all sat out Thursday’s game at the Bobcats. J.R. Smith led the team in scoring for the second straight game. He had 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting and added six assists. Amar’e Stoudemire, the only marquee player to get the start, had 21 points in 24 minutes. Stoudemire was playing in just his fourth game back after sitting out almost a month with a bulging disc in his lower back.
Mike Bibby, who got the start at point guard, had 12 assists — his highest total since he had 15 assists against Milwaukee on Jan. 23, 2009.
The Knicks led just 46-44 at the half, but poured it on in the third quarter, outscoring Charlotte, 30-19.
The Bobcats, meanwhile, finished the season 7-59 (.106). That is the worst winning percentage in NBA history.
The Knicks finished the season at 36-30. As it turned out, the Sixers lost to Detroit, so the Knicks would’ve had the No. 7 seed regardless of the outcome versus Charlotte.
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