Since Mike Woodson took over as head coach of the Knicks, they’ve been streakers. No, take the visual of J.R. Smith running through the quad wearing nothing but a green hat out of your mind, we’re talking wins and losses on the basketball court here. This season has been no different.
The Knicks are trying to avoid falling into another extended losing streak tonight when they host the Clippers. The Knicks have lost two straight games heading into tonight’s contest, a disappointing loss in Charlotte followed by a blowout just last night against Indiana. Prior to that, however, the Knicks were the hottest team in the league, winners of five straight and six of seven with wins sprinkled in against the likes of Miami and San Antonio. The visiting Clippers lead the Pacific Division and are 4th in the loaded Western Conference with a record of 27-13. They’re streaking themselves, as they’re winners of 4 straight.
The Clips beat the Knicks in their only other meeting this year, back on Nov. 27 in LA, 93-80. The Knicks were mired in the middle of, you guessed it, a 9-game losing streak back then, so overall, the Knicks are playing better ball this second time around. And the Knicks are at home, and the Clippers’ are kinda sorta due to lose a game, right? We’re reaching here folks.
It doesn’t bode well for the Knicks, though. The Clippers come into the game with the league’s 4th most efficient offense, scoring 109.4 points per 100 possessions, and in what can be called The Doc Rivers Effect, the league’s 8th stingiest defense at 103.4 points allowed per 100. Make no mistake, this is a top-level team, and Chris Paul is having one of his better overall seasons. The Knicks clearly have their work cut out for them if they want t avoid another extended losing streak, in a season where they can ill afford another one.