The Return Of Bing Bong? | Knicks Win Their First Playoff Series In 10 Years But Can They Stay Back On Top In The Big Apple?

The New York Knicks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night to win their first-round best-of-seven playoff series 4-1. This was the Knicks’ first playoff series win in 10 years, and it sets up a second-round series with the Miami Heat. Is this the return of “bing-bong” and are the Knicks poised to make a run to the conference finals?

Knicks fans flooded the streets of NYC after Sunday’s Game 4 win and shut down the part of 7th Avenue that runs alongside the “world’s most famous arena.” Following Wednesday’s series clinching win, fans took the same NYC streets and chanted “we want Heat.”

Just a few hours later they got their wish, as the Heat eliminated the top seed Milwaukee Bucks 4-1 in a stunning first-round upset.

But What Is Bing Bong?

Last season after their home opening win over the Boston Celtics in double overtime, Knicks fans spilled to the streets and video of the occasion went viral. Knicks fans called out Kevin Durant for not joining the team in free agency, and an unknown fan appeared in the video and said “bing bong,” mocking the tone NYC subways make when the doors are set to close.

While the video went viral and “bing bong” caught on like wildfire, the Knicks disappointed last season. They finished 37-45, 11th place in the Eastern Conference and couldn’t qualify for the play-in.

Last summer when the Knicks signed Jalen Brunson to a four year $104 million contract, the signing was widely panned. At the time the thought was Brunson’s a good player but not a difference maker for a team that was eight games below .500.

But Brunson was exactly what the Knicks needed. He helped lead the team to a 47-35 record, the No. 5 seed in the East and the sixth-best team in the league in aNET rating.

Adding Josh Hart at the trade deadline and playing Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin have solidified the rotation around Brunson, Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, and Mitchel Robinson.

Rivalry Renewed

Now the Knicks will face the Heat, rekindling those old ’90s/’00s rivalry games. The Knicks beat the Cavaliers up physically and mentally and will need all that and more to stop the Heat and their superstar Jimmy Butler. But Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau did recognize the accomplishment of a series win.

“I’ve said this many times, the tradition of the Knicks, what it means not only to the city but the league, we have what I feel are the best fans in the world, we have the best city in the world, we have the best arena in the world, and I think the way this team plays resonates with all our fans,” Thibodeau said postgame. “They play hard, they play smart, and they play together, and I think you if you do that in New York it’s always recognized. So it’s good. There’s still a lot of work to be done. We have a lot of areas to improve upon, so we’re looking forward to the next challenge.”

The Cavaliers were not ready for the moment, and besides Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen, the team lacks playoff experience. They are young, and this was their first playoffs as a group. They didn’t seem to understand the urgency and seriousness of playoff basketball.

The Heat will be the complete opposite of the Cavaliers. They are playoff tested and a veteran group led by Butler. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is pragmatic. If something isn’t working he will scrap it and pivot into something else. He will adjust and scheme, and his team will play hard and value possessions.

The Knicks have home court and the Garden will be electric. But Butler, Bam Adebayo and the rest of the Heat will be unfazed, and the Knicks will have to out-effort and out-execute to move to the conference finals.

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