The New York Knicks just won’t go out softly. We’ve proclaimed them dead several times this season. When a team loses by 30 points to the Los Angeles Lakers in the midst of a playoff run, that seems acceptable. We thought they were dead after they lost two straight games to the Washington Wizards and Miami Heat. These things seemed OK to do; the Knicks weren’t showing many signs of life, Carmelo Anthony’s shoulder is injured, they were two games out of the playoffs with four to play.
They still are two games out of the playoffs following a gritty win over the Toronto Raptors and an Atlanta Hawks win over the Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks are the worst type of alive to be right now: they need to win out while the Hawks lose out to make the playoffs. They’re still floating, treading water, but with very little in the way of intrigue.
Still, last night’s win over the Raptors was the type of win we wish we could’ve seen all season from the Knicks. They held the Raptors to 39% shooting while shooting nearly 48% themselves. They forced the Raptors into 14 turnovers while giving up the ball just 8 times. Despite poor three-point shooting, they got to the free throw line 36 times.
And the individual performances were up to par, too. Anthony, despite battling an eery shoulder injury that he and the Knicks don’t seem to care about, rebounded from two bad performances. He led the Knicks with 30 points on 8-17 shooting to go with 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Amar’e Stoudemire chipped in one of his best performances of the season, going for 24 points, 10-14 FG, 11 rebounds, and a block. Stoudemire also threw down in a beautiful pick-and-roll with Pablo Prigioni. Even Iman Shumpert got in on the action, contributing 11 points, 4-9 shooting, with rebounds and 2 steals before he fouled out.
Even if the Knicks don’t make the playoffs, can we please at least have more fun games this like to finish the season?