And since it clearly isn't going to come from the guy who handed them their first home loss of the season on Monday night, there's no better time to get that spark then from Amar'e Stoudamire's return—which would appear to be closer than ever.
According to a tweet from CBS's Ken Berger, the Knicks forward is on his way to the D-League to prep for his return to the Knicks:
Amar'e Stoudemire will practice this week with the Knicks' D-League team, Woodson says.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) December 17, 2012
Stoudemire is coming off left knee surgery and will begin practicing with Erie on Tuesday, according to ESPN.com.
Given the fact that the Knicks didn't have Carmelo Anthony at their disposal on Monday, and that they haven't had Stoudemire all season—and given the fact that losses this season have been rare—Monday's result wasn't all that shocking, nor was it anything to worry about. It just came against a team, and a player, the Knicks really didn't want to lose to. And that's what made it so tough to swallow.
Jeremy Lin marched into Madison Square Garden months after being exiled—or exiling himself, depending on how you look at it—and showed the Knicks why they should have ponied up the money to keep him around. He played with a bit of a chip on his shoulder and finished the night with 22 points and eight assists against the team with which he made his name.
The Rockets may be an unimpressive 12-12, and they may be especially bad on the road, but that was of no consolation on Monday night. All that mattered was that the Knicks' 10-game winning streak had been shattered by the guy who started one notable winning streak of his own with this team a year ago, and the Knicks have found themselves needing to regroup.
Stoudemire certainly isn't going to help the Knicks get any younger, but at least he gives them something to look forward to on the heels of a tough loss. In the grand scheme of things, Monday's loss doesn't really mean much. It just felt like it meant more than it should because it was personal.
So even though New York doesn't really have anything to worry about—partly because it has been playing as well as anybody, and partly because it's December—it's still the perfect time to get some good news regarding one of its veteran pieces. The Knicks have been great this year. Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton have made it much easier to forget about Lin. They lost a game primarily because they were playing without their biggest asset.
The good news is, the Knicks have already been the East's best team, and they can only go up from here. And Stoudemire heading back to practice means "up" is on its way.