Don’t look now, but that’s now six in a row a Knicks team that was deemed dead in the water just over a week ago. They’re going to need some help if they want to squeak into the East’s final playoff spot, but for now, all New York can do is take things one game at a time. Here’s what’s on tap for this week.
At this time of the year, we really can’t get picky about who the Knicks beat, which is good because the team played against some horrendous competition last week. The Sixers, Celtics, and Bucks have 50 combined wins, just one more than San Antonio and Indiana, but at least the Knicks took care of business. New York had to do it without Tyson Chandler, who was away because of personal reasons for two games, but the rest of the team stepped up in his absence, including Cole Aldrich, who doubled-doubled in his lone career start. The team is looking more cohesive, communicating better on defense and sharing the ball offensively, and their winning streak has included a few start-to-finish victories, which is always refreshing to see, and does wonders for everyone’s blood pressure.
Oh, and in case you haven’t heard by now, the Knicks hired some guy named Phil Jackson to help run the organization. Apparently he has 13 rings or something like that. Here’s our thoughts on the Zen Master’s arrival in New York City.
In case you missed any of the action last week, here are the quick versions:
This week, the competition ramps up. And by ramps up I mean that the Knicks will be playing one team with a record above .500. Unfortunately, that team just happens to be the league’s best Indiana Pacers, who currently sit at 49-17. The game will be preceded a anti-ownership (aka James Dolan) protest, which is being held directly outside of Madison Square Garden. Dolan has shrewdly invited season ticket holders inside for a VIP session that includes vouchers for free merchandise and a meet and greet with some alumni before things get started. Personally, I’ll be attending and am looking forward to meeting with Knicks fans who disagree with his antics. The group isn’t looking to get Dolan to sell the team, but rather just simply want it to be known that their voices matter. Frustration levels are at an all-time high, but the Phil Jackson hiring has cooled things off significantly compared to a few weeks ago. Either way, it should be an interesting night.
The Knicks are three and a half games behind the Hawks, who play against Charlotte, New Orleans, and Toronto (twice) this week. New York fans will be doubling as supporters for all of those franchises for the time being. Still, it’s most important that the Knicks just take things one at a time.
Wednesday – 8:00 p.m. (ESPN) – vs. Indiana
These teams don’t really like each other, but I wouldn’t really call it a rivalry until the Knicks start pulling out some wins.
Friday – 7:00 p.m. (MSG) – at Philadelphia
The Sixers know from experience that they can hang tight with New York, and are sure to be riding their current 20-game losing streak. The Knicks can’t be the ones who it gets snapped on.
Sunday – 7:30 p.m. (MSG) – vs. Cleveland
The Knicks steamrolled the Cavs at home in their last meeting, but even though they leapfrogged Cleveland in the standings over the last 10 days, they aren’t out of the rear view mirror just yet. It’ll be important for the Knicks to put them away.