Everything's Coming Together for the Knicks

A win on Wednesday puts them back in sixth place

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Smile! You're on a winning streak!

    Keep telling yourself that they were only playing the Raptors.

    That's the best advice to give to anyone who is making the case that the Knicks are peaking at just the right time after Tuesday night's 131-118 evisceration of the very bad team from Toronto.

    That is, that's the advice to give if you aren't finding yourself getting too caught up in an offensive performance that lends a lot of credence to the notion that the Knicks just needed some time to become a cohesive unit.

    The Knicks scored 78 points in the first half as they pushed and moved the ball like a well-oiled machine instead of the group of strangers they appeared to be for most of March. Things were going so smoothly that Jared Jeffries even found a way to make a pretty layup off a nifty little behind-the-back pass from Chauncey Billups.

    Yes, that Jared Jeffries. It was that kind of night for the Knicks and it has been that kind of run over the last four games.

    It has been against bad teams for the most part and the Knicks still struggle to stop anyone on defense, but four wins in a row definitely give you a reason to be smiling on Wednesday.

    There's a very clear difference between the team that's on the court right now and the one that sleepwalked its way to all those losses back in March. There's swagger and confidence, to be sure, but there's also none of the ugly body language that marked all of those losses.

    They actually look like they are having fun while playing games and that's a sea change from the tense, pained impression they were previously leaving with those who watched them lose games. It's premature to call them a markedly better team, but they are definitely a changed one.

    We'll find out just how big the changes are when the Knicks take the floor on Wednesday night in Philly. There's actually something on the line for both teams -- that would be sixth place in the East -- and the Sixers are worlds better than the last three Knicks victims.

    If we see the same kind of sustained effort and uninterrupted flow on offense, it will be a sign that momentum is starting to work in the Knicks' favor. If there's actually attention paid to defense and rebounding, we'll likely drop dead from shock and miss the coming day when pigs grow wings.

    And if they win, regardless of how they make it happen, we'll be a lot more willing to agree with the notion that something big is brewing.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.