The Knicks Need to Get Over Cav-Phobia This Weekend

A win on Sunday would make the stretch run a lot easier

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Will the fourth time be the charm?

    Do you know how long it has been since the Knicks beat the Cavaliers?

    Eddy Curry scored 11 points in that game. It was 2007, for those keeping score at home, and Isiah Thomas was coaching a Knicks team that was going nowhere fast.

    Since then, Cleveland has had the Knicks' number in a way that no entity from Cleveland has ever had the number of anyone else in the history of all the world. With LeBron James and the pathetic Knicks of recent years, it was understandable but things have changed.

    It's time for this streak to die and there's really no better time than right now. It's the last chance to end it this season and a win on Sunday would make life much easier for the Knicks.

    Two wins to start the week and a nice long rest to end it have combined to put the roiling waters of March to rest as April gets going. There are still plenty of issues to iron out on the court, but the sense of impending doom has gone away under a flurry of points from Carmelo Anthony.

    It's disappearance can still be fleeting, though. Should the Knicks figure out a way to lose to the Cavaliers for the fourth time this season on Sunday, all of those angry words from last week will come rushing back.

    Should such a loss coincide with the Bobcats winning both of their two games over the weekend, those words will be flowing faster and more furious than at any other point this season. They'd be just two-and-a-half games behind the Knicks in the playoff race and that means the Knicks would have to push right through the finish line.

    Anyone who has seen Amar'e Stoudemire play of late knows that this isn't a winning idea. He needs a lot of rest to be raring to go come playoff time and he won't get it if the Knicks stretch out the qualification process to the last days of the season.

    A win Sunday means they'd have, at worst, a magic number of two. The Raptors are in the Garden Tuesday, which means that they'd have a pretty solid shot at being all but assured of their spot before leaving for a three-game road swing.

    Who knew beating a 15-win Cleveland team could account for so much?

    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.