“My take is that we’re a playoff team, period. If we don’t make the playoffs this year ... we belong in the playoffs,” Afflalo said late Tuesday night.
The Knicks (22-25) enter play Wednesday two games behind Indiana for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The standings indicate that they have a realistic shot to make the postseason, but the numbers show that a playoff berth is unlikely.
According ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Knicks have a 7 percent chance of making the playoffs entering play Wednesday. That number probably means little to Afflalo.
“We’re capable of much more. There comes a point in every season where you have to decide to be better or to just hover around .500. I feel like we’re better than that,” he said. “I feel like I’m a better player than what I am. Moving forward it’s time to show it.”
Afflalo struggled from the floor on Tuesday, missing 15 of 21 shots. He went 4-for-11 in the fourth quarter and overtime and missed three of his final four shots.
Curiously, Kristaps Porzingis attempted just one shot in the overtime loss, the Knicks’ third straight.
It's always silly to play the "what if" game, but things might have been different if Carmelo Anthony were healthy. Anthony missed Tuesday’s game due to lingering soreness in his left knee. The Knicks are 0-5 when Anthony sits due to injury.
So step one in fulfilling Afflalo's expectation is to get Anthony back on the floor.