The New York Knicks move up in class today. After winning 12 of 13 mostly against the NBA's bottom-feeders, the Knicks begin a stretch of games that will show just exactly where they stand in comparison to the other top teams in the NBA.
The Knicks (15-9) host the Denver Nuggets (14-8) at Madison Square Garden today. Tip-off is at noon ET. The Knicks host Atlantic Division-leading Boston on Wednesday, then Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat come to the Garden on Friday.
Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni understands the meaning of the next week for his surging team.
"Any time you’re doing better than what people think, that’s there until you beat somebody," Coach Mike D’Antoni said. He added: "We’re playing well. I’m happy about it. And when we have good games coming in, we’ll all find out together where we are."
"Teams like Denver and Miami and Boston are very well-respected in terms of making the playoff push and championship push," [Amare] Stoudemire said. "So we have an opportunity to create some havoc and we've got an opportunity to really put our foot down on this playoff race and see if we can get a few wins."
One of the keys for the Knicks will be whether or not Stoudemire can continue his string of 30-point games. If he can do that today against Denver he will establish a franchise record
with his eighth straight game of 30 or more points. Stoudemire is averaging 26.1 points per game.
"I don’t think anyone’s playing better than him," Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. "You might have arguably some guys playing well, too. But he’s playing as well as anybody."
A meeting with Denver will, of course, bring star foward Carmelo Anthony
of the Nuggets to Madison Square Garden amidst renewed speculation that Denver is willing to trade him if he won't sign a contract extension. The Knicks and New Jersey Nets
have been prominently mentioned as suitors.