The New York Knicks will clinch the Atlantic Division title with either a win over the Washington Wizards tonight, or a loss by the Brooklyn Nets. This would be the first time since 1994-95 that the Knicks came out on top of the Atlantic.
New York has also won 50 games for the first time since the 1999-2000 season, and is currently riding a 12-game winning streak. The team knocked off the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, and that win proved to many people that this team is indeed a title contender.
Being that the Knicks have the oldest roster in NBA history, Mike Woodson said “It’s desperate times for our team to win and win now,” the head coach said on ESPN Radio. “We’re in desperate times right now to try and win an NBA title.”
Woodson is right- if New York is to win anything, it will have to be this year. Despite numerous injuries, including the loss of Amar’e Stoudemire and Rasheed Wallace for the rest of the regular season, the team has persevered and is close to locking up the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith have carried the team offensively over this winning streak. Anthony has scored 35+ points over his last four games, and Smith is averaging around 23 points per game over the stretch. Anthony, the leading scorer in the NBA (28.4 PPG) has even played himself into the MVP conversation.
“Melo’s hungry to win and he’s got guys around him playing at a high level to win,” Woodson said. “It all goes hand in hand. When your best player is committed, you got everybody else feeding into what’s going on around us, makes a pretty good ballclub.”
Look for the Knicks to clinch the Atlantic Division tonight with a win over the hapless Wizards. The team is playing its best basketball of the season, and is hitting its stride at the perfect time coming into the postseason.