The New York Knicks will take a peek at their upcoming schedule and smile a bit. Over their next ten games, they will only see three potential playoff teams as of right now: the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Indiana Pacers.
The Knicks blew out Milwaukee in the beginning of the year, split two games with the Pacers so far, and haven’t faced the Clippers yet.
The combined record of their next ten opponents is 193-223, with the Knicks going 11-3 against these teams so far. This is a sigh of relief for Knicks fans as their team has cooled down a bit, going 5-5 in their last 10 games.
At this point of the season it’s rare to see big winning steaks as teams are starting to run out of gas heading into the All-Star break. The Knicks are only a game and a half behind Miami in the East, and if they can go 7-3 or 8-2 in these next 10, they can be sitting pretty on top of the Eastern Conference.
These next ten games can also help Mike Woodson develop a consistent lineup. He can mix and match different lineups during the game, and possibly start Amar’e Stoudemire.
Amar’e has been playing like the Amar’e Knicks fans expect and love and is making a strong case to crack the starting lineup. The Knicks are winning with him coming off the bench, and winning is everything so he might not make the change.
Woodson can mix and match Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton, and Jason Kidd anyway he wants. He can see who works well with who and when is the best time to put in whom. Of course the ultimate goal of these games, as in any game, is to win. The Knicks MUST win these games and I believe they will. If they lose, don’t come out to play, and play down to their competition, they can easily fall off and see themselves looking up and not down in the East. The Brooklyn Nets are playing their best ball of the season and the Chicago Bulls are getting hot right before Derrick Rose comes back, only one game behind the Knicks.
The Knicks must go 7-2 or 8-2 in these next 10 games if they want to hold their lead in the Atlantic Division.