Saturday afternoon’s win at home against the Milwaukee Bucks extended the New York Knicks‘ winning streak to six games. The winning streak is the longest New York has had all season and ironically, it came after a seven-game losing streak. In true Knicks fashion, they’ve completely confused the NBA as well as themselves. They have no real identity and they are the definition of streaky to say the least. During the winning streak, the best team New York defeated was the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are 32-32 at the moment. New York’s next game is this coming Wednesday against the best team in the NBA in regards to record, the Indiana Pacers.
By the end of February, we all wrote off the Knicks and began talking about next season. But not so fast. New York is 3.5 games out of the final playoff spot currently occupied by the Atlanta Hawks. Like I mentioned, the Knicks are streaky. They went seven games without a win while shooting 41 percent from the field and turning the ball over more than they should. During this six-game winning streak, the Knicks have shot 51 percent from the field. It’s feast or famine for this Knicks team and you never know what you’re going to get when they step onto the court.
So is this a case of an underachieving team finally putting all the pieces together late in the season? Carmelo Anthony is still playing at a high level and Tim Hardaway Jr. has emerged as a very good scorer from all over the court. J.R. Smith is finally hitting some shots while Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler are doing their part. If the Knicks had a point guard, they’d have a good team.
The last time New York played the Miami Heat, they stuck around for three quarters before losing by 26. For three quarters, they were able to compete with a premier team. The Pacers are a different animal and they will be the first playoff team the Knicks have a chance of defeating during the winning streak. All six teams they racked up wins against have been teams they should beat. The Knicks are expected to win when they play the worst teams in the NBA, but for the majority of the season, they haven’t.
On Wednesday, the Knicks will finally be put to the test during their high level of play. They’re playing the best basketball they have all season and they have three days off to prepare for the game against Indiana. Wednesday’s game will be an official measure of how good the Knicks really are at this point in the season. If they can hang around with the Pacers and make a game out of it, they do have a chance of competing for the rest of the season. If they win the game, I’m sure people will jump right on the bandwagon. But if the Knicks come out and lose by 20 points, which is very possible, you can expect them to be one and done if they make the playoffs.