The Knicks suck. The Nets suck. We all know these things are true.
But teams turn things around in every sport and often times very quickly. Thursday night, the two teams square off in Brooklyn, in what was supposed to be not only a battle for first place, but a battle for New York. Instead, the two teams are playing to stay out of the basement in the Eastern Conference.
Currently, the Boston Celtics sit in first place with a whopping eight (8!) wins. The Knicks are just three games behind them statistically. The Nets are one game better, at two games back. That means that a hot streak of just one or two weeks lands them not only at the top of the Atlantic Division, but back in the playoffs. While things are bad, the team needs to be sat down and shown this on a huge white board. The division sucks and that is a huge advantage for the Knicks and Nets.
If the two teams played in, say the Northwest Conference, they’d be starring up at the Portland Trail Blazers who would be 10 games ahead of them. Not to mention, the Thunder would sit in between them and first place. If this were the case, the two teams that call New York home would be buried and both Jason Kidd and Mike Woodson would already be seeking new positions.
As it is, this is not the case. The teams play in a horrible division in the weaker of the two conferences. Making a run seems not only possible, but inevitable. Given the talent on the rosters, I don’t see a team outside of New York taking this mediocre division and hey, why can’t it be the Knicks?
Would anyone be shocked if the team strung a few wins together? After all, this team was supposed to compete for a title in 2013-14. While that might be a distant memory, first place is not. A win against Brooklyn could be the first of many steps in the right direction.