Despite Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks winning in Indiana on Monday, Knickerbockers fans know better than to get overhyped.While the New York Knicks pulled off an impressive 109-103 road win against the Indiana Pacers on Monday, fans should know better than to get over-excited about it.
Throughout the Knicks slide over the past month, there have been several occasions where it looked like the team might be out of their funk. There was the victory in Milwaukee against the same Bucks team that stunned them at the buzzer two nights before. The Knicks ended a six-game losing streak, fighting back in a game where they trailed by as much as 18 points.
Yet they failed to build on that remarkable victory, getting blown out in their next two games by the Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans then losing another game at the buzzer in Philadelphia to the 76ers.
Then after the devastating loss in Philly, the Knicks responded the next night with a solid home win against the Chicago Bulls where Joakim Noah finally lived up to the contract that he signed last summer. However, any excitement from that win faded as the Knicks got massacred by the Raptors in the Toronto three days later. The day after the debacle in Toronto, they lost a heartbreaker in the final seconds at home to the Atlanta Hawks.
The Knicks giving their fans false hope doesn’t end there. Two days after the loss to Atlanta, the team delivered a much-unexpected win against the Celtics in Boston. Defeating a top-three team like the Celtics on the road had to get the Knicks out of their slump, right? Not exactly.
They lost their next two games at home, both in the final minute and in inexcusable fashion, to the Washington Wizards and the lowly Phoenix Suns.
These trends from the Knicks should make it clearly obvious to fans that their team is not out of the woods yet. True, it was a solid win, especially since they hadn’t won in Indiana in nearly five years. It was also nice to see Carmelo Anthony finally hit a shot when it matters most. But there were still some areas of concern even in a winning effort.
The Knicks did blow an 18-point third quarter lead, only adding to their habit this season of letting double-digit leads slip away. Even though their defense came through at the end of the game, they still showed they can only come out victorious when they score 100 or more points.
If the Knicks want to prove to their faithful that Monday’s win wasn’t a fluke, their next two games are absolute must-wins. Even on the road, they have no excuses if they lost to the Mavericks. This is a game where the Knicks need to show they can avoid playing down to the level of mediocre teams.
The following game at home against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday is also a game they need to win to show they are capable of competing with playoff teams.