Knicks So Far: Dayenu!

There will come a time, I'm sure, when seeing the Knicks lose two perfectly winnable playoff games in succession will infuriate. Someday, and perhaps soon, late-game mistakes and opponent heroics will lead to despair. And seeing the Knicks merely compete against the hated Celtics will not feel like any kind of victory.

But for me, right now, this has been enough. So far, I have enjoyed the hell out of these NBA Playoffs.

I've enjoyed a pair of star performances by Knicks players, one Patrick Ewing-like from Amare Stoudemire, the other Bernard King-like from Carmelo Anthony.

And there is solace in knowing that unlike King and Ewing, whose eras were strictly segregated by some down years, these two are going to play together. If Amare's MRI comes back clean, it should be Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

Would victories have been sweet? Undoubtedly. But no one gave the Knicks much of a chance when it was assumed Carmelo would show up for Game 1, Amare would stay healthy for Game 2, Chauncey Billups would dress for both games, and Roger Mason wouldn't play meaningful minutes in a must-win game. The Knicks are the underdogs, and all Boston has done is hold serve at home with a two-man roster going at less than full strength throughout the series.

Having Stoudemire for one more play- the end of Game 2-and it isn't Jared Jeffries benefiting from the Carmelo double-team, but one of the league's top scorers.

But leave all that aside for a moment, the Xs and Os that seem to give a distinct advantage to the team trailing 2-0. Wasn't it wonderful to have a whole day of anticipating the Knicks in the playoffs? To see a Knicks player cause an entire building to tremble in fear, then to see another one do it in Game 2?

Simply finding the Knicks in the arena served as a thrill for me, anyway. Seeing the Knicks with a team that we all knew needed work compete with the defending Eastern Conference champions feels like a fantasy, so soon after a decade of futility and and a few months after a trade that gutted today's roster for a player to draw better teammates for tomorrow.

When tomorrow comes, and the Knicks have a center with the ability to catch an entry pass, a rotation absent players who would go unclaimed on waivers, and both superstars on the court at once, perhaps it will feel different.
But for now, I'm just looking forward to Friday night at Madison Square Garden, even if New York's season ends by Sunday. For now, it is enough.

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