The Charlotte Bobcats were in desperate need of a win when they hosted the New York Knicks, and the Knicks were already preparing to do battle with the Indiana Pacers Thursday night. That’s why the Knicks allowed Al Jefferson to have a huge performance even with Tyson Chandler’s return to the lineup after missing four games with a case of bronchitis, and Jefferson’s 35 points were too much for New York to overcome.
New York had a five-game winning streak snapped against the Bobcats, but the Knicks were already feeling confident that they could compete with any team in the league. Many fans of the Knicks may feel disappointed by the team’s performance in Charlotte , but New York has a much more important goal in mind. The Charlotte game should be chalked up to a letdown before the real test comes Thursday night in Indiana.
The Pacers escaped Madison Square Garden with a win over New York back in late November at a time when the Knicks were playing poorly. This time around New York is playing some of their best basketball of the season, and a win over the league-leading Pacers would be a huge accomplishment for the underachieving Knicks. A win over the Pacers would also serve as sweet revenge against the team that ended the Knicks’ playoff run last season.
If New York is to have any chance at all, they need a better performance out of Chandler than they got in Charlotte. But I’m sure the Knicks will have Chandler ready to go for his all important matchup with Roy Hibbert. The Knicks obviously had Thursday night’s game with Indiana circled on their calendars, and it should be an interesting matchup even though they didn’t show up to play against the Bobcats.