The New York Knicks made strides towards getting back in the playoff hunt last week, but still have tons of work to do. With three matchups against some the Eastern Conference’s worst teams coming up, opportunity is knocking at their door.
A disappointing loss to the Pistons scarred the beginning of the week, but they followed it up with victories against the Timberwolves, Jazz, and Cavs. The Knicks FINALLY got back on track, using a a hot first quarter in Minnesota to kick-start their season. While they didn’t exactly play against top-flight talent, at least they took care of business. It may be too little too late for New York, but it looks like we’ll have a chance to find out.
The addition of Amar’e Stoudemire to the starting lineup has made a tremendous difference. STAT is playing his best basketball of the season, and put up 16.7 points and 6.8 rebounds over four games last week. He’s been his usual tenacious self, but will the increase in minutes put him back on the injury report?
Credit Mike Woodson for going with the bigger starting five. If we’re going to bash him when the team is down, then we have to praise him when he does something right.
In case you missed any of the action last week, here are the quick versions:
Knicks 107, Cavaliers 97
New York needs to take advantage of this week, with games against three of the East’s four worst teams. Their upcoming opponents have a combined winning percentage of just .348, but have all beaten the Knicks at some point this season. It’s make or break time.
Monday – 7:30pm (MSG) – vs. Philadelphia
The Knicks can avenge their January loss to the Sixers by beating them in both of their upcoming matches in the next two weeks.
Wednesday – 7:30pm (MSG) – at Boston
A win on Wednesday night would mean a season split with the rapidly tanking Celtics. The Knicks still owe them one for the 41-point licking Boston gave them earlier in the season.
Saturday – 12:00pm (MSG) – vs. Milwaukee
In their last two meetings, the games have been decided by a combined nine points. Sadly, this could be a tight one.