Last week, when the Knicks blew what would would have been their fifth straight win, we were (gently) mocked by colleague Stephen Rodrick for the silliest and shortest playoff boomlet in sports history. You see, we are desperate for the Knicks to make a run for the playoffs. We know they won't do anything while they're there, and we know it won't make much difference as to what happens this off-season. We just need to see it. We need to be aware that there is real, live basketball being played. We want the rest of the planet reminded that the Knicks exist.
It's kind of our quixotic endeavor, really, a way to get us through the long, dead, freezing, NFL playoffsless months until baseball begins again. We're refreshing John Hollinger's playoff-odds report daily — currently, the Knicks are at 48.4 percent; not bad! — and trying to watch the game live AND Knicks in 60 the next day. This is our sacred quest. This is going to get us to baseball season, we just know it.
Anyway, the Knicks won their second in a row — if it hadn't been for those pesky, rough losses last week, it could have been their eighth! — yesterday at the Garden, taking down Larry Brown and the Bobcats 98–94. (No one on Earth will ever look more miserable losing than Larry Brown.) The most positive takeaway from the victory is that the Knicks didn't play particularly well, and they still won. And the go-to scorer in the fourth quarter was, of all people, new signee Jonathan Bender, the former high-school phenom who has missed the last three years owing to knee injuries. That sonuvagun can shoot. He played fifteen minutes yesterday. Expect him to play lots more.
Oh, Nate Robinson has sat the bench for nine straight games now; the Knicks are 6–3 in those games, and are unlikely to trade him. Though, you can probably stop watching that story now.
The Knicks host the Bulls tomorrow and the Heat on Christmas morning on ESPN. If they win both of those, our boomlet will be uncontainable.