The last three weeks have not been kind to the New York Knicks. Winners of just two games in their past 12 attempts, the Knicks are a team searching for answers, with a coach sitting firmly on a hot seat, two superstars fielding criticism from all angles and a back court that has played as expected, which is to say poorly.
The struggling Knicks attempt to find their way back to the wins column Friday night when they visit the TD Garden for an 8 p.m. tip off against the Boston Celtics.
New York saw some good signs Thursday against Chicago, most pressing among them Amare Stoudemire's season-high 34 points, but the Knicks missed two threes in the final 11 seconds and fell, 105-102.
Without Rajon Rondo for their past eight outings, the Celtics have won six out of eight to claw back above .500 at 11-10. Rondo is a game-time decision for Friday's game, but the Celtics have performed admirably in his absence. Paul Pierce has regained his All-Star form, and the Celtics' defense has held seven of its last nine opponents under 90 points, including four times keeping its opponent under 80 and two times under 65.
The Knicks and Celtics opened the season against each other on Christmas Day, when New York prevailed 106-104.