New York now sits in the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 35-20 record, and leads the Atlantic Division. There is no doubt in my mind that the Knicks are legitimate.
The question is, how legitimate?
Since that surging start, New York has gone 17-14, including a four game slide beginning before the All-Star break and carrying in the second half of the season.
Tomorrow, the Knicks will take on the Miami Heat team that New York has blown out twice this season by 20 points in both games. In the second contest New York’s best player, Carmelo Anthony, didn’t even suit up and the Knicks still destroyed the reigning champions.
This time will be different.
“The Knicks played great. They outplayed us tonight. But just remember that we do meet them again this season. Let’s talk then,” LeBron James said after the second blowout that he suffered.
James and the Heat feel that the Knicks do not belong in the same sentence as them, but New York is proving to be the most formidable contender in the Eastern Conference to Miami’s road to another championship.
“We’ll have to find out a way to deal with LeBron, D-Wade and those boys in Miami,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said today.
Well, that sounds like the start of a good game plan, coach.
But seriously, Miami is in a different world zone now than the last time New York saw them. The Heat have won 13 straight games, and New York is just 5-4 in their last nine contests.
With Miami coming for blood tomorrow, it is time to see if the Knicks are truly the contenders that they appear to be or if they are simply the same team that Miami rolled over in the first round of the play-offs last year.
We will see.