The Knicks Stay Hot, Push Streak to 10
With the Miami Heat's 27 game win streak ending last weekend, the Knicks now have the longest current win streak in the NBA at 10 games. With their 95-82 win against the Atlanta Hawks, the Knicks move to 22 games over .500 and stay a half game up on the Indiana Pacers for the second seed in the East.
In there last 3 wins alone, the Knicks have beaten playoff teams in Boston, Miami, and now Atlanta. New York's current win streak comes immediately after a 4 game losing streak in which the team looked lost and uninspired. The streak is even more impressive considering the Knicks played almost all of the games without Tyson Chandler, who came back Wednesday night from a neck injury.
Knicks' fans and management understand their postseason success comes down to how well MVP Candidate Carmelo Anthony can play in the playoffs. Melo has answered the call the last two games, scoring an incredible 50 points Tuesday against Miami, adding 40 huge points against Atlanta. Anthony could look to carry his hot hand into the playoffs.
Carmelo hit 17-27 from the floor against the Hawks, and 5-6 from the line. He's been showing a better ability of getting contact around the hoop lately. He shot half of the Knicks' free throws last night, and will need to stay aggressive down the stretch. If he hasn't managed it yet, Anthony has officially become one of the leagues top stars He even received MVP chants from a road crowd. J.R Smith managed 19 points, but didn't add much else to his stat line. Smith is a scorer first and last, and is a huge asset as the Knicks' sixth man. He carried the Knicks's streak early on, but allowed Anthony to take back control of his team.
The Hawks didn't play great basketball Wednesday, but were in the game until the 4th. Sharp shooter Kyle Korver hit 6 threes and had 25 points, but Atlanta could only get 19 combined points out of their talented front line of Josh Smith and Al Horford. Atlanta is comfortably in the 5th spot in the East and have already clinched a playoff spot.
The Knicks started the 2012-13 season incredibly hot, but fell back to Earth after the first month. The Knicks are getting hot at the right time and they're looking more like a team that could win a series or two in the East. The real question will be whether they can pose a legitimate threat to Miami. The Knicks have won 3 games this season against the Heat, but are not getting close to the amount of respect Miami gets.
New York will get Milwaukee at MSG and Oklahoma City on the road in their next two games. If they can win those two, I'd think the rest of the league would really start paying attention to the Knicks.