Fresh off the end of a five game winning a streak and this week’s latest JR scandal, the Knicks’ have suddenly lost some of the momentum that propelled them back into playoff contention. A week or so ago talk of the playoffs was a satirical notion for Knick fans, but as it stands they are in fact a win away from reaching 8th seeding tin the Eastern Conferences feeble playoff picture. One team that is anything but feeble is their next opponent in the 30-7 Indiana Pacers.
The Knicks were beaten by the Pacers in overtime earlier this season and another one probably is a comfortable bet for anyone looking to make a quick buck. After all these are two franchises on opposite ends of the conference. And hey, if you are into betting and think the Knicks will win, you might want to place that bet now with one site I can personally recommend: Sports Betting Online – William Hill. I still think another loss to the Pacers can deflate whatever was left of the Knicks’ incredible 2014 run. Of course beating the Heat is impressive, but the Pacers are different. This is a team that the Knicks couldn’t get through last year and its a team that is looking to continue to assert their conference dominance on a national stage on Thursday. My fear here is that a bad loss, especially after JR Smith’s distracting locker room drama, is something that can deflate the Knicks pretty mightily.
An ugly Pacers loss will surely revive the talk of the Knicks being a disappointment and curtail the positive developments seen during the 5 game win streak. The Knicks can best gauge where they stand in the East from their battles with the Pacers, so a convincing defeat could also signal the front office to make roster moves that serve as admission that this season’s hopes is over. How the Knicks come out and play against the Pacers also is going to be very telling in determining just how prepared Coach Woodson has this roster. The JR on/off again benching is something that the rest of the team is probably watching in as much confusion as fans are, so a Knicks team that comes out flat can also serve as indication of just how much Woodson’s leadership is resonating with the rest of the team.
A day after playing the Pacers, the Knicks will be faced with another formidable challenge against the 26-13 LA Clippers, a previously rumored trade destination for Anthony. The Knicks losing to the Clippers will also be crushing since its against another playoff ready team, albeit from the West. The west has always posed challenges for the Knicks but on their previous west coast swing they played very well during the dreaded “Texas Triangle”. It remains to be seen if the Knicks we saw during that trip will be the same one playing in LA. What would be even worse , however, is being beaten by the Brooklyn Nets on the following Monday. Already a division rival, the Nets have been on an upward turn of their own recently. The Knicks have always played well against them but this is a must win game to prove to fans that the Knicks of 2014 are actually different than the 2013 version. Losing to them wouldn’t just be embarassing, but also another early blow to their playoff seeding hopes.
Conversley, a strong showing against all three teams would be proof that the 2014 Knicks are in fact on a different path than what the 2013 Knicks were sentenced to. These next few games could very well be the make or break point of the season for the Knicks and I really have no idea what to expect over these next few games considering the roller coaster of a season its been so far. Either way, Knick fans are in for some really meaningful basketball over the next few days. Hopefully, it won’t be the last meaningful stretches of the season because even if it was just a a week, it was a lot of fun to think there was still hope for the season.