In a season of change, the New York Knicks finish third in Atlantic Division with 48-34 mark, and made their club-record 14th consecutive Playoff appearance.
After advancing to the Conference Semis for nine straight years, the New York Knicks are knocked out in the first round by Toronto, 3-2.
The season began with a blockbuster trade that shocked the NBA and New York Knicks fans when New York traded local legend and certain Hall of Famer, Patrick Ewing to Seattle in four-team, 12-player megadeal. On September 20, 2000, the New York Knicks sent Ewing to the Sonics bringing Glen Rice, Luc Longley and Travis Knight to New York.
As was their trademark under Head Coach Jeff Van Gundy, the New York Knicks’ defense led the NBA with 86.1 ppg allowed and .417 opposing FG pct. The New York Knicks held their opposition under 100 points in post-shot clock NBA record 33 consecutive games, from November 11 - January 21. New York Knicks also led the league with a club record .796 FT pct. with guard Allan Houston shooting a club record .909 from the line (second in NBA). Marcus Camby was third in the league in FG pct at .524 and Kurt Thomas followed right behind at .511, good for fourth overall.
A veteran of the Jordan wars, Mark Jackson, returned to New York in a trade with the Toronto Raptors on February 22, 2001. He ranked sixth in NBA in assists at eight per game. Houston (18.7 ppg) and Latrell Sprewell (17.7) represented the New York Knicks in NBA All-Star Game in Washington, D.C.
The New York Knicks went 30-11 at the Garden, where they kept the longest active sellout streak in the NBA at 391 games. New York was 18-23 on the road and 12-5 in games decided by three points or less.
Jeff Van Gundy passed Pat Riley on New York Knicks’ all-time win list on March 1 with a 95-88 win over Boston to become third-winningest coach in franchise history. Van Gundy had tallied 238 victories at season’s end.
Again key starters were hobbled by injury, including Charlie Ward (knee) and Larry Johnson (back). The season-long injury bug (284 manpower games) forced Van Gundy to use 19 different starting lineups.