The magic number is six for the New York Knicks. At this moment they are in the midst of a six-game losing streak and are six games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Tonight, the Knicks will take on the Detroit Pistons who are two and a half games in front of them in the playoff chase.
New York (21-39) has been playing some of it’s worst basketball as of late and seem to have hit a season low. Just recently, J.R. Smith, among other players I’m sure, are questioning the teams heart, and how could you not after losses to the Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic and Sacramento Kings in just this past month alone. The season is all but over unless a drastic turnaround takes place, but with no draft pick until 2015 and the looming Carmelo Anthony free agency, all seems grim in Gotham City.
The Detroit Pistons are also trending in the downward position as of late and are on a four-game losing streak, including just 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Pistons have been one of the most abysmal defensive teams all season, giving up an average of 103.7 points per game. Their frontcourt experiment of Josh Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe seems to have failed miserably thus far, but Drummond certainly has a bright future ahead of him.
With both of these teams failing to live up to any hype this season, this should be a typical lackluster defensive effort on both sides. Brandon Jennings, who is in a major funk as of late, averaging just over 11 points on 29 percent shooting in the team’s last eight games, is due to erupt and should be licking his chops with Pablo Prigioni and Raymond Felton defending him tonight. The three ball will be a major part of tonight’s game given the fact that both teams don’t play any perimeter defense whatsoever.
With the playoffs coming up quickly you have to wonder which of the lower echelon Eastern Conference teams are going to make a serious push at playoff contention. Right now the Charlotte Bobcats, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistions and New York Knicks are all within 7 games of one another. None of these teams is breaking away from the pack and it should be an interesting race the rest of the way. Does anyone really want to play the Indiana Pacers or Miami Heat anyway?