The New York Knicks are heading into what might be their most important stretch of the year. Just past the midway point of the season they are still 10 games under .500 and have an unprecedented seven straight home games, of which most are winnable, this home stand will tell us a lot about the 2013-2014 New York Knicks.
The battle of the boroughs part two should be another great installment in the series which became really heated just a season ago. The Knicks defeated the Nets in Brooklyn by 30 back in December and we all know the Nets will be looking for revenge at The Garden. This time around the Knicks will have center Tyson Chandler back in the mix and will be getting back Pablo Prigioni from injury, but they will be without Amare Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace, who would all be of pivotal importance in a game like this against a big Brooklyn Nets team. The Nets will reportedly have Deron Williams running the point, but will sacrifice being without big man Brook Lopez who always gives the Knicks fits whenever the two play.
The Nets are 6-1 in 2014 and look like they are finally starting to turn the corner to become the team that everyone expected them to be this season. The Knicks were 6-1 to start the new year, but in typical roller coaster fashion they are now in the midst of a 3 games losing streak. The Nets currently hold the eighth spot in the weak Eastern Conference, but the Knicks are just one game behind in the win column.
Rumors are swirling with the return of Pablo Prigioni that the Knicks might return to a small-ball lineup which would involve putting Carmelo Anthony back at the power forward spot with Raymond Felton and Prigioni at the guards, while Iman Shumpert and Tyson Chandler would round out the lineup. I was so against this lineup to start the season, but simply put the Knicks need a spark right now and this might be it. Andrea Bargnani just isn’t meshing well on the court with Tyson Chandler, and Barg’s would be best suited as the backup center right now. He’s more of a mismatch from that position and would be a scoring punch off the bench.
This might be the turning point or the final nail in the coffin for the Knicks. On this homestand the Knicks will play the Charlotte Bobcats and Cleveland Cavaliers, who along with the Brooklyn Nets are all above the Knicks and fighting for a playoff spot. These teams have all given the Knicks problems at different times, it might be time to put up or shut up for the Knickerbockers.