The Sixers were 20-9 and finished at 35-31, absolutely pathetic down the stretch.
The last game of the season against the Pistons it was clear as day they were tanking, they sat literally everyone on their roster and ended up losing by like 30. For two weeks, ESPN and every other outlet was debating whether the Knicks should tank to get the Bulls. They didn't, the Sixers did and they got past the first round. True, they didn't know Rose would get hurt but that didn't matter, no one wanted to play the Heat (and rightfully so). And Rose was going to be way less than 100% regardless, which made the series much easier to win.
It's a shame how the season ended up in the East. Rose and Noah went down killing the Bulls title hopes, Howard never even played (leading to an easy 2nd round matchup with the Heat), the Knicks were heavily injured. Meanwhile the Sixers got rewarded for tanking and now are in the 2nd round.
It's easy to see this is complaining from a Knicks fan, but coupled with the lockout, the 66 game crazy season filled with obnoxious injuries, it's annoying to see the Heat have an easy run to the Finals.
It hasn't been a disappointing season for just the Knicks, but also for the Bulls, Celtics, Hawks (Horford) and Nets fans just to name a few.
Maybe the Heat would have gotten to the Finals anyway, it's quite possible. But to face a completely healthy Knicks 10 deep team (Chandler-Amare-Melo-Fields-Lin & Jeffries-Novak-Smith-Shumpert-Davis) and then get banged up by Howard in the second round to face Rose & the Bulls in Round 3 is no walk in the park. We're talking going to 7 games w/Knicks, 6 w/Magic and 7 w/Bulls. In reality, a rail-thin Knicks team, the Pacers and either the Sixers or Celtics is pretty much a bye to the Finals for the most talented team since the 98 Bulls.