Well, last night changes everything. The New York Knicks walloped the third-seeded Orlando Magic at the Garden, 108-86, a final score that does not do justice to the complete domination on display—the Knicks were ahead by as much as 39.
For the second important contest in a row, Carmelo Anthony did what he does best: take complete control of the game and deliver a win.
He's had no choice but to hoist the team on his shoulders with the "Linjured" Jeremy Lin and Amar'e Stoudemire riding the pine both games.
On Monday, with Milwaukee just 1.5 games behind New York for the final playoff spot in the East, Anthony scored 28 points and took down 12 rebounds, creating some needed cushion in the standings. The Bucks were held to just 80 points.
Against the Magic, Anthony threw in another 25 on 60 percent shooting.
He’s not the only one who’s stepped up, though.
Iman Shumpert had 25 against the Magic, too. And he scored in double figures—along with Baron Davis and Tyson Chandler—against the Bucks.
Both games should be noted for the suffocating defense poured on by Mike Woodson's squad.
The Knicks will need all that and then some as they head into a critical April that will decide their playoff fate.
This is it. The lockout is a distant memory. The condensed schedule is wrapping up. Here are 10 predictions for New York’s home stretch.