You can't always win. You can't always make the big shot and you can't always make the big play. Such is life, and such is basketball.
That fact of life being said, though, fans of the New York Knicks can't really ask for much more than what their team has given them through the first 32 games of the 2012-2013 NBA season. The team started 6-0, has beaten the Miami Heat twice by 20 points, the San Antonio Spurs twice and now sits at 22-10.
That doesn't mean things are perfect though. If anybody is wary of impending and past dooms, it is a Knicks fan. Knicks fans are constantly afraid of losing leads and messing with what's working, even when everything is going well. A Knicks fan takes every loss as hard as he celebrates a win.
The team is doing great, fantastic in fact, but that doesn't mean that there haven't been some bumps and disappointments along the road.
Perhaps it comes with having the oldest roster in the history of the NBA, but the Knicks have been absolutely decimated by injuries this season.
Amar'e Stoudemire missed the first two months of the season due to knee surgery. Raymond Felton is out for four weeks following surgery to his finger. Iman Shumpert has yet to return to the court after tearing his ACL in the 2012 NBA playoffs.
Carmelo Anthony has missed four games already with minor injuries. Rasheed Wallace has now missed 12 games in a row after a hot start. Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd are both beat up as well. Marcus Camby is just now getting fully healthy.
It seems New York can't catch a break, and with things finally going well for the team, the last thing fans want to see is one of their heroes sitting on the bench in a suit. That has unfortunately been a far too familiar sight, though.
Through the first few games of the 2012-2013 season, it seemed impossible that Ronnie Brewer would end up on this list. Brewer was mainly signed as a defensive player that would help fill the void left by Shumpert's injury.
Through the first 15 games though, he was shooting .412 percent from behind the arc and was contributing seven points per game. In December though, Brewer's numbers dropped to 2.8 points per night while hitting .154 percent of his threes.
Brewer has seemed to be getting his confidence back as of late, but until his shots start falling again New York fans will cringe every time that funky shot is spotted on the court.
The loss to the Sacramento Kings on December 28th was a huge disappointment for exactly one reason: the moment depicted in this picture.
The Knicks, playing without Carmelo for the second straight game, found themselves down by 21 at the half following an abysmal performance through the first two quarters. That's when they turned it around.
Behind the great play of J.R. Smith and Jason Kidd, the Knicks actually came back and it looked like they would be able to pull out another win without their superstar.
However, little-known James Johnson nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Sacramento the win. Johnson had missed his first 11 attempts from behind the arc this season, but he barely eluded Steve Novak and drove a dagger into the hearts of New York fans.
Since the Knicks started the season out 6-0, fans everywhere have started circling certain games on their calendars. Perhaps chief among those anticipated matchups were the two showdowns with the Houston Rockets.
After Linsanity gripped Madison Square Garden, fan-favorite Jeremy Lin was allowed to sign with the Rockets to the dismay of many fans. When the two teams were scheduled to meet twice the span of a month, many fans hoped to see confirmation that the front office was right in sticking with Raymond Felton.
That question won't be answered by a direct showdown this season, though (unless of course both teams make the NBA Finals...). In the first game, New York didn't even show up and fell 131-103 behind an uncharacteristically atrocious defensive showing.
In the second game, New York had to do without Anthony and was down by 23 going into the fourth before riding a small late streak to a still-disappointing 96-109 loss. Fans wanted a battle, or at least for their team to play as they have come to expect them to, and were not rewarded in the least.
It was supposed to be the big return. It was the night Amar'e Stoudemire would finally take the court after missing the entire season and it happened to coincide with Carmelo's return from injury.
This game against the Portland Trail Blazers was supposed to be the game the Knicks showed the NBA that their success could continue with Stoudemire in the rotation. The two stars were supposed to finally gel and meet the expectations placed upon them.
Carmelo fulfilled his half of the deal by dropping 45 points, but Stoudemire's performance was a letdown. His first touch resulted in stepping out of bounds and he missed his first five shots. He did have a couple of classic "STAT plays" with a powerful dunk and a big block, but overall he demonstrated that he clearly still has work to do.
The NBA has released the results of the third round of fan voting for the 2013 All-Star Game, and Knicks fans have reason to be pleased and reason to be disappointed.
On one hand, Carmelo is one of only four players to have topped the million vote mark. On the other, though, Tyson Chandler is currently ranked fifth among frontcourt players, meaning at this point he will not be starting.
There is an extensive argument to be made for Chandler getting a starting spot, but the main point is that his defense is breathtaking (as demonstrated by being the reigning Defensive Player of the Year) and his offense is incredibly effective (as demonstrated by his leading the NBA in field-goal percentage). He is at this point the best center in the Eastern Conference.
This disappointing news comes as result of the change in format that allows fans to vote for three frontcourt players, as opposed to two forwards and a center as they had in the past, but fans should be smart enough to craft feasible lineups that include the best at each position.