The good news is Amar’e Stoudemire is back; the bad news is that he is still not playing like himself, and it was apparent in the New York Knicks’ 98-90 loss to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers (21-41). The Knicks (33-30) were sluggish in this game, with Stoudemire scoring 15 points, but in general looking poor on defense as has been the case most of this season.
It didn’t help matters that Carmelo Anthony had an off game (12 points), and Baron Davis was out (stomach virus). This was the worst game the Knicks have had in head coach Mike Woodson’s tenure. They are now 15-6 on his watch, and you cannot blame him for the injuries that have Jeremy Lin out for the season or that kept Stoudemire out since March 24. There is no question that Woodson had to be unhappy with what he saw in this game.
The Knicks have three games left in the regular season and will enter the playoffs, probably in the seventh slot, which means an appointment with destiny and perhaps doom because this means they will be facing LeBron James and his Miami Heat (yes, they are his team without question) in the first round. Playing the way they are right now, this does not bode well for Woodson and his players.
Still, we Knicks fans always complain when the team does not make the playoffs; conversely, we are agitated when they do make it and seem to be overwhelmed by an opponent. The Knicks have to get past the playoff bound Atlanta Hawks next, and this team does seem to fare much better at Madison Square Garden than on the road, so that is not hopeful. Especially being in the seventh playoff spot, they face the reality of having to be a winning “road” team, or they will be going home early.
The good news is that playoff tickets go on sale at the Garden today; that may be the bad news as well, but just like the Lottery, you have to be in it to win it. The Knicks are in this year, so be happy Knicks fans because as of now we are not waiting for next year, at least not yet.
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