The Only Knicks Constant is the Losing

Eight straight losses of varying varieties

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    The good news was that Tracy McGrady was able to play despite leaving Monday night's game with a knee injury. The bad news was that either fatigue or that knee injury robbed him of the oomph he needed to knock down an open three in the fourth quarter on Tuesday that would have tied the Knicks and Celtics with 30 seconds to play. The worst news?

    "Even when I took that shot, I wasn't that confident making it. I'm not [as] confident on the basketball court as I'd like."

    Add low self-esteem and split personalities to the list of things the Knicks should be discussing with their team psychiatrist in the days to come. One of the first suggestions Dr. Feelgood might come up with is that a guy playing his third game in four nights after sitting out all season isn't the wisest choice for the biggest shot of the game, but Mike D'Antoni's inability to push the right buttons at the end of games is a sad, old story at this point in time.

    There was a lot to like about the Knicks only 24 hours after they mustered a pathetic 67 points against the Bucks. They shot the ball well and the offense was in sync with McGrady and Sergio Rodriguez dishing assist after assist. Rodriguez even made some buckets as he continues to look like a player who the Knicks should find a way to keep around next season if at all possible.

    Newcomer Bill Walker even got some time on the floor. He had a couple of big dunks, hit a three and showed offensive flashes that could, if nothing else, make people remember him for something other than urinating in a towel on the sideline during a game. He outplayed Nate Robinson, the guy he was traded for, which was also a nice surprise from the night in Beantown.  

    Defensively, the team still stinks, but even that worked out as something for Knicks fans to smile about on Tuesday. The Celtics refused to keep forcing the ball into the paint, which doesn't say much for Doc Rivers' ability as a coach and that bodes well for a future when the Knicks actually win games.

    But moral victories are for Winter Olympians from tropical countries and giggling about the shortcomings of the coach of a winning team doesn't keep Utah from picking first in the draft. It doesn't much matter how good the Knicks look while losing, because that's the only consistent trait they have as the losses continue to blur together in a collage of misery. Somehow, the summer seem farther away with every passing day, which really wasn't the idea when they made those trades last week.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.