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Are The Knicks For Real?

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The New York Knicks have been such a doormat for so long that it is a bit jarring to see them in the top half of the conference standings and just 4 games back of us in the Atlantic.  They are riding an 8 game winning streak and the term "MVP" is starting to be whispered in relation to Amare Stoudamire.

They are riding an 8 game winning streak and the Celtics will put their own 10 game streak on the line at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.  So something's gotta give.  Which begs the question.  Are they for real?

Zach Lowe of The Point Forward wrote about the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors and mused about the Knicks recent surge.

The Point Forward " Posts Should the Knicks bother trading for Melo? "

Scoring has not been New York’s problem, at least among the atrocious defenses they’ve faced the last three weeks. Over their next dozen games, New York plays Boston, Orlando, Miami (twice), San Antonio, Chicago, Indiana and the Lakers. That’s eight games against teams currently ranked in the top 10 in points allowed per possession.  In other words: We’re about to learn a bit more about how good New York’s offense really is, and whether they might need an elite isolation scorer to compete against top teams. 

By the way, the teams they beat during their current 8 game streak are as follows:  Detroit, New Jersey, New Orleans, Toronto (twice), Minnesota, Washington, and Denver.  Only the Hornets and Nuggets boast an over-.500 record at the moment.  You can only play the games on the schedule, but I wouldn't use this latest stretch to put them in the home court advantage discussion just yet.  

Of course, to be fair, it is worth noting that the Celtics 10 game win streak hasn't exactly featured the best and brightest that the league has to offer either.  Only Atlanta, Denver, and Chicago are over .500 at the moment.

We will certainly find out how stout the Knicks' offense is when facing Kevin Garnett and the rest of the Boston defense.

On the flipside, even if we win, the Celtics will be put to the test the next night against Atlanta (which may be looking for some revenge).  Should be an interesting week.

Also see: Sizing Up The Streaks