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The Knicks Just Don’t Break a Sweat These Days

Raymond Felton #2 of the New York Knicks scores two late in the fourth against the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden on December 2, 2012 in New York City. Raymond Felton #2 of the New York Knicks scores two late in the fourth against the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden on December 2, 2012 in New York City.

Over the course of a season, winning three games in a row is no big deal. The 2007–08 Knicks, the Isiah's-final-year Knicks, did it twice; the Larry Brown season Knicks did it twice as well. Only doing it twice is an extremely poor showing, but it proves that even horrible teams have their three-game win streaks. The strange thing about the Knicks' current three-game streak — which they extended by breezing past the Phoenix Suns 106-99 yesterday — is that no one seems to have noticed. The Knicks lost two road games to Dallas and Houston and had that crusher overtime setback against Brooklyn, and everyone was so worried. Since then, they've won three in a row like it was nothing, like it was a cough.

The win over the Suns yesterday was actually a little closer than it should have been; the Knicks didn't quite put Phoenix away late. Still, New York didn't have much difficulty. Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points like it was nothing, and Raymond Felton took another step toward everyone forgetting that game against the Nets with 23 points, seven assists, and zero turnovers. The Knicks are now 12-4 and have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. They're a game up on the Nets, two and a half over Philadelphia and three and a half over Boston. It was another nice, easy win.

But no one cares about that. Everyone just wants to talk about Rasheed Wallace. 'Sheed set a personal record for early ejections, being bounced after just one minute, 25 seconds. It was because of this.

The ball does not, in fact, lie.

Maybe 'Sheed will be fined, maybe he won't be, but it's possible the Knicks were better without him. Chris Copeland — who probably should be the fan favorite over 'Sheed — played extremely well in his absence, though he sat the whole second half for some reason. We find the word "'Sheed" to be as amusing a punch line as everybody else does, but it's worth noting that the majority of the time he's more trouble than he's worth. We still get excited when he comes in, but, you know, more production would be nice.

But this is all just groaning and complaining. The Knicks are 12-4 and are looking at 13-4 if they can beat Charlotte on Wednesday, heading into a quite-exciting game in Miami on Thursday. Maybe 'Sheed can hang in for more than a minute and 25 seconds in that one.

One last note: Felton suffered a "bone bruise" on his left hand and is listed as "day-to-day." Because this is the Knicks, not exactly the most forthright team about injuries, we can only assume his hand is about to fall off. It will then come back to life to kill people.

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Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images