Michael Jordan the player would use Madison Square Garden as his personal playground and torment the Knicks whenever he came to town.

Jordan the owner, however, doesn’t have the same cache. In fact, his team doesn’t have much of anything, including hope. Instead, the Charlotte Bobcats presented the perfect opportunity for the Knicks to extend the NBA’s longest active winning streak to seven and pad their stats at the same time.

“We are in a great groove,” J.R. Smith said after the Knicks defeated Jordan’s Bobcats, 111-102, at the Garden Friday night. “We are starting to jump out on teams early. Communication is up, we are getting to the free throw line and making free throws. We are tough to beat that way.”

Five days before their showdown with the Heat in Miami, the Knicks improved to 45-26 entering Sunday night’s home game against the Boston Celtics. Their next three games – Boston, Miami, Atlanta – are against three playoff-bound teams.