The New York Knicks (13-9) hope to feast on another cupcake tonight when they host the 8-13 Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET).
The Knicks have won 10 of their last 11, and you can certainly belittle the fact that eight of those 10 wins have come against teams with losing records. Wins are wins, though, and the Knicks are looking like a team capable of making the playoffs for the first time since the 2003-2004 season. Amare Stoudemire can sense the growing belief in the team.
Stoudemire's stellar play has been a key part of the Knicks' success.Not even the great Patrick Ewing can claim a streak like the one Stoudemire is currently on.
"I don’t know if you can play any better than he has the last couple of weeks," said coach Mike D’Antoni, who also coached Stoudemire in Phoenix.
"His power, strength, now his outside shooting, his choices that he’s making, just seems like it’s easy."
Stoudemire is averaging 34.2 points and 11.0 rebounds over New York’s five-game run, becoming the first Knick to record five consecutive 30-point performances since Stephon Marbury from Feb. 4-11, 2005. The only Knicks player to record a longer such streak was Willie Naulls’ franchise-record run of seven straight from Feb. 22-March 4, 1962.
The Raptors are led by Andrea Bargnani, who is averaging 20.2 points per game.