Boy, if I had a dollar for every time the Knicks played competitively against a better team, only to let it all slip away in the 4th quarter, I’d be marginally less destitute than I am now.
Last night, in the House That Dolan Built, New York fell to a far superior Orlando team, 111-99, and dropped under .500 on the season for the first time since November 27th.
Astute fans might recall that the Knicks were 8-9 back then — and headed to another season of irrelevance — but Amar’e Stoudemire was determined to make his presence felt in the Big Apple, and he willed the team to an eight-game winning streak.
That was then, however, and this is most certainly now. The Knicks have lost four in a row, and seven of their last eight contests. In short, comparisons to the Washington Wizards may soon be in order.
On the bright side (I’m starting to say that a lot lately), Carmelo Anthony played exceeding well last night, and seemed much more comfortable in letting the team’s offense flow through him. He actually even passed the ball multiple times, and sometimes his teammates scored as a result thereof. Joy ensued.
And just when you thought that the news couldn’t possibly get any better than Anthony recalling how to play basketball, a quick glance at the Knicks’ upcoming schedule provides reason for even more optimism.
Now I’m no expert — I applied for the traffic reporter job — but most of the teams that New York will be facing over the next nine games are nothing short of dreadful.
In fact, one can make an argument that New York puts a better squad on the court than all but one of those teams, the Magic.
Heck, the majority of those opponents’ GMs will be sitting awkwardly on a sound stage in May as NBA Commissioner David Stern announces who gets the chance to draft “Player Who is Not as Good as Blake Griffin.”
Of course, the Knicks have managed to lose recently to some of these very same teams — in horrible fashion — but I’m guessin’ their luck’s about to change. At least it better.
Anything short of the Knicks winning six of their next nine games should be considered unacceptable. Yes, I understand that the Knicks’ magic number(s) to secure the 7th seed (7) or 8th seed (4) are well within reach, but backing into the playoffs won’t do anything to dispel the increasing rumors of Mike D’Antoni’s demise, nor will it take the spotlight off the team’s losing record since Anthony’s arrival.