The Celtics have played pretty well recently, and they at least had the excuse of falling to an excellent team on the road.
The Knicks, on the other hand, had no such excuse, facing a 21-37 Kings team at Madison Square Garden. Even with home-court advantage and a soft opponent, the Knicks managed to lose by 38 points, good for their fifth-largest margin of defeat at Madison Square Garden, per Sportsnet Stats.
While both teams are in the midst of rebuilding processes, the Celtics have given fans some recent cause for optimism, owning a 7-6 record since the beginning of February, despite losing center Kelly Olynyk and forward Jared Sullinger to injuries.
Recently making do with Brandon Bass, Tyler Zeller and Jonas Jerebko in the frontcourt, Boston has managed to stay afloat due to a solid backcourt that includes Avery Bradley, Evan Turner, Marcus Smart and the recently acquired Isaiah Thomas.
Those four players seem to be a pretty good fit together, as Bradley and Smart offer excellent defense, while Thomas brings instant scoring to the table, and Turner has the size to play at small forward.
The Celtics now find themselves just two games behind the Brooklyn Nets for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, with the promise of plenty of cap space to improve the team this summer.
As unlikely as it may have seemed a couple of months back, the Celtics may be just one move away from putting together a team that can post a winning record in 2015-16.
The Knicks, meanwhile, seem to be staring at a longer rebuild, as injured forward Carmelo Anthony is the franchise's only real building block.
New York owns an NBA-worst 12-47 record, with promising performances from young players few and far between.
Even if they land the No. 1 overall pick in June's draft and then sign a big name in free agency, the Knicks have an incredibly shallow roster that may make immediate contention a pipe dream.