Ladies and gentlemen, if you haven’t heard the news, allow me to inform you: right now, the Knicks are the hottest team in the NBA.
The team grabbed their tenth consecutive win last night and extended their winning streak, the longest active streak in the League. After Miami lost in Chicago last week, the national attention shifted to the team in orange and blue–and rightfully so.
The New York Knicks tipped off the 2012-2013 NBA season with a hot start. They were the last team to record a loss. With superb defense and unexpected energy from some of the oldest players still in their jerseys, the Knicks gave their fans something for which to cheer.
Some Knicks fans interpreted the 6-0 start as a guarantee their team would win the championship come June. With Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert due back in January and Rasheed Wallace fitting into the puzzle extraordinarily well, how could the Knicks not keep this up?
Injury after injury, defense nowhere to be found, and trailing early against under-.500 teams–that’s how the Knicks couldn’t keep up their hot start. They carried over their pattern of inconsistency from late December to the new year, leading up to the All-Star Break. Although the record was still a winning one, the play cried out average. Things were supposed to come together after All-Star Weekend, but news broke about Rasheed Wallace’s inability to return to the squad this year. As the weeks progressed, the Knicks lost Stoudemire too.
The optimistic fans weren’t so quick to shout their team was going to win it all come June anymore. The Knicks’ battery life looked like it was ready to peace out, at least until the Playoffs.
On March 18, after a four-game losing streak (and several weeks of two wins here, two losses there), the Knicks won the first game of their current 10-game winning streak. On Tuesday night in Miami, Carmelo Anthony scored 50 points to tie his career-high for the second time. He followed up his performance by shooting lights out in Atlanta against the Hawks last night as he put up another 40. This team recharged its battery to finish off the regular season with energy to catapult them into the postseason.
The Knicks have only eight games left on their schedule, and the 2013 NBA Playoffs are set to begin April 20.
Now, I’m not that fan who already decided my team won the championship and calls into every New York sports radio show to say the hosts and analysts are wrong for criticizing my team.
But, I will say this–my expectations are not low.