Break up the Knicks!
The Knicks have gone from “laughingstock’’ to possibly a top contender in the rotten Atlantic Division in a space of two days. As coach Mike Woodson said before Friday night’s game: “It’s crazy.’’
The Knicks are clicking again. They posted their second straight blowout by 30-plus points, winning two straight games for the first time this season, and the first time since the first round of the playoffs last season against Boston.
They recovered from a lousy start to toast the Magic, 121-83, at the Garden, where they received a standing ovation in the closing seconds. The Knicks’ seven-game home losing streak at the Garden is over after not having won here since opening night on Oct. 30.
Iman Shumpert, who said before the game he was “pissed at the world,’’ made the highlight play. He took out his recent frustrations about trade speculation and losing on the Garden rim with a vicious, right-handed slam on former St. John’s star Mo Harkless late in the third quarter that put the Knicks ahead 79-63.
When asked after the victory what he’s mad at, Shumpert said “everything,’’ mentioning the media.
“The losing, I don’t like losing,’’ Shumpert added. “I felt like people were laughing at my team and I don’t like it.’’
The Knicks may have also benefitted from a color change. The orange alternate jerseys were originally placed in the Knicks lockers before the game but were later replaced by the standard home whites. The Knicks are 0-5 in orange, but a team spokesman said the orange jerseys are supposed to be worn just for weekend home games and a mistake had been made.
The Knicks, who broke their nine-game losing streak with a win in Brooklyn on Thursday, are now 5-13. Incredibly, they are just 2 ½ games out of first place in the Atlantic Division behind Boston, which visits the Garden for a Sunday noon matinee.
“We’re trying to win every game right now,’’ Shumpert said. “We know we dug ourselves a hole. Now we’re trying to dig ourselves out.’’
Carmelo Anthony notched his 10th double-double of the season, matching his total all of 2012-13. He finished with a super-efficient 20 points on 10 shots, grabbing 11 rebounds in 30 minutes to lead seven players in double figures.
Break up the Knicks!