It’s so difficult for Knicks fans to look back at the ’90s teams, as they were so close to winning a title, but came up just short a few times.
They lost in the Finals twice, and all the other times they got close, they were unfortunate to have had run into the buzz saw known as Michael Jordan. The GOAT and his Bulls teams knocked the Knicks out of the playoffs a number of times. In fact, one of the times they made it to the finals was because it was the year that MJ retired, to play baseball, back in the 1998-99 season.
But the Knicks had a great opportunity to win a title in the 1993 season. They nearly closed out Game 6 to take a 3-2 series lead, however, Charles Smith missing four consecutive layoffs doomed them down the stretch.
However, Charles Oakley doesn’t blame Smith. Instead, he believes the fault lies with Patrick Ewing, for poor shot selection, which he stated during episode six of “The Last Dance.”
“Patrick, at the end of the game, he’d get double-teamed,” Oakley said, as transcribed by the New York Post. “He’d shoot fadeaways on double-teams and that hurt us as a team.”
“We didn’t make shots and played into their hands. With defense, they played a zone and built a wall. They knew Patrick wasn’t going to pass out of the double team. Phil watched a lot of film. We watched a lot of film, but we were playing checkers and they were playing chess.”
It’s not the first time we’ve heard talk of Oakley hogging the ball late in games, and Oakley could be correct in his assessment here.