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Counting down the 75 most important people in Knicks history: No. 15 to No. 6, with Pat Riley and Carmelo Anthony

Counting down the 75 most important people in Knicks history: No. 15 to No. 6, with Pat Riley and Carmelo Anthony

There was little question in Joe Lapchick’s mind: The Knicks were the team of destiny.

“We seem to have everything going our way,” the Knicks’ coach told The Post’s Leonard Shechter on April 20, 1951. “We need that to stay the case for one more game.”

The Knicks had finished a fairly pedestrian 36-30 for that 1950-51 season, a basketball year already overrun with battle scars because of the revelation in March that an assortment of local college players, notably at power CCNY, had been conspiring to fix games with gamblers by shaving points.

But then they surprised the Celtics 2-0 in the East semifinals and knocked off Syracuse 2-0 in the finals, drawing the Rochester Royals — who promptly won the first three games of the best-of-seven Finals. The Knicks’ dreams of a first title seemed over. But the Knicks won Game 4 in the 69thRegiment Armory, stole Game 5 in Rochester and tied the series with an 80-73 win back at the armory.