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
Local

Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…

Local

Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…

National

3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."

Money

Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

Entertainment

Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…

Music

Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

Style

Products that support breast cancer awareness and research

Asics GT-1000, $100 Asics’ third pink collection in collaboration with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women includes this pink-accented version of its best-selling GT-1000 3…

Wellbeing

Dr. Marisa Weiss: Where we stand on breast…

As an oncologist and a survivor herself, Dr. Marisa Weiss knows the urgency felt by those diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing has accelerated the…

Wellbeing

Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…

Home

Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.