The New York Knicks are not exactly heading back to Madison Square Garden this week with their collective tails between their legs, but they are heading back into action with a three-game losing streak and in need of getting back to winning some games.
The Knicks played a trio of exciting game at the Garden last week, defeating Denver, losing to Boston by two and then getting blown out by the Miami Heat. After generating so much buzz, though, after winning 13 of 14 and competing so well until the second half of the Miami game, the Knicks went to Cleveland and laid an egg against the woeful Cavaliers. They came away with a 109-102 overtime loss -- Cleveland's first victory in 11 games.
Next 5 Games
|Oklahoma City||Wed 12/22||7:30 PM EST|
|Chicago||Sat 12/25||12:00 PM EST|
|@ Miami||Tue 12/28||7:30 PM EST|
|@ Orlando||Thu 12/30||7:00 PM EST|
|Indiana||Sun 01/02||1:00 PM EST|
Last 5 Games
|@ Cleveland||Sat 12/18||L 102 - 109|
|Miami||Fri 12/17||L 91 - 113|
|Boston||Wed 12/15||L 116 - 118|
|Denver||Sun 12/12||W 129 - 125|
|@ Washington||Fri 12/10||W 101 - 95|
The Knicks are now 16-12, and the last week has probably shown exactly what they are. An exciting team, a much better team than any Knicks fans have had to root for since the 2003-2004 season, a team capable of playing with and beating elite teams on any given night. Yet, not an elite team. It is a team capable of back-sliding and losing to the dregs of the league, as it the Knicks did against the Cavaliers.
If the playoffs began today the Knicks would be the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, and that seems about right. A lower-rung playoff team, not quite among the league's elite but not one to be taken lightly, either.
The Knicks have a pair of home games this week, and neither will be easy. They host Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Thunder are 19-9 on the season. On Christmas Day, Derrick Rose and the 16-10 Chicago Bulls will be at the Garden.
For the Knicks, a victory over one of those two teams would help them put the loss to Cleveland behind them and help legitimize them as a playoff-caliber team.