Yesterday we started the first Buckets Over Broadway New York Knicks Tournament to determine the greatest Knicks team of all-time and today we are back with another first-round matchup.
Just like yesterday, you the reader get to determine the winner. In our opening round game, you decided that the No. 1 seeded 1973 team, led by Walt Frazier and Willis Reed defeated the 1951 squad.
Today it’s another East Region battle between the No. 2 1995 team and the No. 7 1978 squad.
Let’s get into the matchup.
1995 New York Knicks: 55-27 regular season; lost in Eastern Conference semis
1978 New York Knicks: 43-39 regular season; lost in Eastern Conference semis
The ’95 team, one of my favorites, finished second in the Atlantic Division and went on to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, before losing to Reggie Miller’s Indiana Pacers in the conference semi-finals.
The ’78 squad also finished second in the Atlantic and defeated the Cavs in the first round, but they ran into Dr. J and the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round and were swept, ending their season.
Here’s a look at how the teams stack up against one another.
Coach: Pat Riley
C- Patrick Ewing (23.9 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 2.0 BPG)
F- Charles Oakley (10.1 PPG, 8.9 RPG)
F- Charles Smith (12.7 PPG)
G- John Starks (15.3 PPG, 5.1 APG)
G- Derek Harper (11.5 PPG, 5.7 APG)
Bench- Hubert Davis, Doc Rivers, Anthony Mason (Sixth Man of the Year), Charlie Ward, Doug Christie, Monty Williams, Herb Williams
1978 New York Knicks
Coach- Willis Reed
C- Lonnie Shelton (14.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG)
F- Spencer Haywood (13.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG)
F- Bob McAdoo (26.5 PPG, 12.8 RPG)
G- Earl Monroe (17.8 PPG, 4.8 APG)
G- Butch Beard ( 9.4 PPG, 4.3 APG)
Bench: Phil Jackson, Ray Williams, Jim McMillan, Jim Clemons, Toby Knight
My Take: The ’95 team would have their hands full with the ’78 starting five. McAdoo had a fantastic season and even though Monroe was closer to the end of his career, he was still a force to be dealt with. Yet I don’t know if the ’78 squad could deal with the physical play that Riley’s Knicks would bring. Between the physical play and the outstanding depth of the ’95 squad, I have to give them a slight edge, but this will be a close game.
At the end of the day, the key to the ’95 team winning or losing could be how well Starks shoots the ball. If he’s hot the ’95 team wins, but we all know that he could shoot the Knicks out of a game as easily as he could win won for them.
Your Vote: Your vote is the one that counts though, so make sure you vote for the winner in the poll on the right hand side of this page. Voting is open until tomorrow afternoon and the winner will advance to the Sweet 16.
Up Next: Tomorrow’s matchup will be another first round game in the East Region between No. 3 1998 Knicks vs. No. 6 1983 Knicks.
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