Knicks try to extend win streak in trip to Chicago

J.R. Smith has re-established himself as a leading candidate for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award. Credit: Getty Images
J.R. Smith has re-established himself as a leading candidate for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award.
Credit: Getty Images

The Knicks head to Chicago for a key Thursday night matchup riding a wave of euphoria not felt by the franchise in quite some time.

Following Tuesday night’s Atlantic Division-clinching win, the Knicks (51-26) finally ended the Celtics’ five-year reign of terror in the division, while also further separating themselves from the Pacers (49-29) for the all-important No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The seeding, if it stands, means only the Heat (61-16) will have homecourt advantage over the Knicks in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Head coach Mike Woodson announced that winning the division was a “long overdue” prize for the franchise, prideful that one of the team’s “major goals since veteran’s camp” was met.

J.R. Smith, one of the frontrunners for Sixth Man of the Year, said winning the division and gaining a stranglehold on the No. 2 seed outweighs whatever personal bests he’s accomplishing this season.

“It’s a great thing to achieve one of your main goals, and now we’ve just got to go get that gold ball,” Smith said about capturing the Larry O’Brien trophy, something the franchise hasn’t done in 40 years.

The Knicks seemingly have history on their side, as this current 13-game winning streak is the franchise’s longest since winning 15 in a row from March 1, 1994 to April 2, 1994 — a season which ended in an NBA Finals appearance. The Knicks can tie the franchise record of 18 in a row, set early in their first NBA championship season of 1969-70, by winning their final five games.

But before that happens, the Knicks need to beat the Bulls (42-35), a team which has experience in ending long winning streaks. They ended the Heat’s 27-game winning streak last month. The Bulls are 3-0 against the Knicks in the season series, so it is a tough task for New York. But should the visitors pull out the victory, there’s no telling how long the Knicks’ streak can extend.

Carmelo Anthony, who is enjoying his own special season as the league’s leading scorer, said he appreciates what the team has achieved so far, but added he’s confident there’s much more to come.

“There’s no reason not to have a smile on your face at this moment,” Anthony said. “We’ve accomplished one of our goals that we set before the season in training camp, [but] it’s a stepping stone for us.”

Knicks notes

» Power forward Kenyon Martin, the Knicks’ latest big man to go down with an injury, will likely be out for Thursday’s game in Chicago. Martin injured his left ankle midway through the fourth quarter in Tuesday night’s win. X-rays were negative, but Woodson didn’t sound optimistic about seeing Martin again on the floor anytime soon, as he said Martin had a “severe ankle sprain.”

» The Knicks also announced Tyson Chandler (bulging disc in neck) is out, while power forward Marcus Camby (plantar fasciitis) is doubtful.

Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.

National

Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…

National

LAPD investigates complaint from detained 'Django' actress

The LAPD is investigating after "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts accused police of violating her rights when they detained her.

Local

Number of New York City smokers increase, topping…

For the first time since 2007, there are  more than one million smokers in New York City, according to the New York City Department of…

Movies

Newsflash: Corey Stoll is still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…

Movies

If you don't like Simon Pegg's new film,…

Simon Pegg goes all out in "Hector and the Search for Happiness" as the titular psychiatrist stymied by modern life who embarks on a globetrotting…

Arts

Art in Chelsea: Don't miss these 3 galleries

We selected three sure bets for seeing cool art in the galleries of Chelsea.

Music

Robin Thicke blurs lines further with new 'Blurred…

"The reality is," said Robin Thicke about "Blurred Lines" in a court deposition, "Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song."

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

Travel

World's most hipster cities: Top 5

Travel blogger Adam Groffman tells us his picks for the Top 5 most hipster cities in the world.

Education

The top 5 regrets recent high school grads…

College application season can seem like a blur for many students - as test prep, campus visits and filling out a seemingly endless stream of…

Parenting

Tech execs tend to limit their kids' screen…

You probably got your iPad before Bill Gates's kids did.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing: Daybreaker returns, Ray Rice jersey trade, Sweet…

  Now that Ray Rice is no longer with the Baltimore Ravens — or any other NFL team — after video footage surfaced showing him…