The schedule lightens up a little bit this week, but nothing has been coming easy for the New York Knicks. Will they be able to turn things around on their eight-game home stand?
The Knicks played two set of back-to-backs last week, and kicked things off the right way in the first one matchup, taking down an underrated Suns team at home in an overtime thriller. Unfortunately, that was the pinnacle of their week. Personally, I didn’t expect much out of the team in Charlotte on the following night, especially considering that Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton played a combined 90 minutes the game prior, and it was the perfect situation for a letdown. They never really had a chance against the Pacers or Clippers, two teams that are much more polished at this point in the season.
One would think that the Knicks would be better off at back-to-backs this season compared to last, when half the roster was either set to retire or physically unable to perform. However, this year’s team has had even more problems with continuity, mostly because there has always been someone missing from the lineup ever since Tyson Chandler broke his leg early on. The Eastern Conference is atrocious, but by the time the team is 100 percent healthy will there even be a division title for them to chase? Is the seventh or eighth seed their destiny? These questions are all coming in to play.
In addition to losing a couple game last week, the Knicks also lost a couple members of their frontcourt when Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin both went down with sprained left ankles on the same night. Expect to see more of Jeremy Tyler and Cole Aldrich in the mean time, but I wouldn’t be overly shocked if the team took a long look in to signing Andrew Bynum.
In case you missed any of the action last week, here are the quick versions:
New York is just 7-13 at home, but they better get used to playing there, as their next seven games all come in the confines of Madison Square Garden. They’re probably in trouble if they don’t take five of them.
Monday – 2:30pm (ESPN) – vs. Brooklyn
Martin Luther King Day has become a mini-Christmas for basketball fans, and all of New York is geared up another Knicks-Nets battle. Matinee games have been disastrous for the Knicks this season, but they shouldn’t have a problem coming out slow in this one, as the Nets are just two games ahead of the Knicks for the final playoff spot in the East. Deron Williams is shooting to return from an ankle injury for this one
Wednesday – 7:30pm (MSG) – vs. Philadelphia
The Knicks took care of the 76ers in Philadelphia a couple weeks back, and now they’ll have their chance to do it again at home. The Sixers are tanking, but are far from a pushover.
Friday – 7:30pm (MSG) – vs. Charlotte
This team, and by this team I mean Kemba Walker, has been giving the Knicks fits all year, taking two out of their first three matchups. Luckily for my blood pressure, this will be the final Knicks-Bobcats meeting of the season.
Sunday – 3:30pm (ABC) – vs. Los Angeles Lakers
It’ll be weird to see the Lakers play at The Garden without Kobe Bryant lighting it up, but apparently he isn’t go to be re-evaluated until February. I won’t believe it until he’s absent from the pre-game layup line.