Photo: New York Knicks/Twitter

Despite being caught off guard by the NBA’s new 65-game rule, Donte DiVincenzo accepted the situation with resignation, stating “It is what it is.” He acknowledged that even if he had been eligible, winning the Most Improved Player award was far from certain.

Despite averaging 38 minutes per game since February, the Knicks guard was deemed ineligible for postseason awards because he didn’t play 20 or more minutes in at least 63 games (plus two games of playing at least 15 minutes).

The issue arose because DiVincenzo, who played a total of 81 games, began the season as a reserve and only started logging significant minutes about a quarter into the season.

He missed the eligibility cutoff by just nine seconds in a single game.

“Obviously that’s a bummer,” Josh Hart said. “That’s the downside of the first year of the rule. You knew there were going to be guys that got the short end of that stick.

“Now they kind of see it in action and hopefully this summer they can reconvene and kind of figure out ways to still have that rule, but to not punish guys for playing a smaller role.”