It's Superstar Week at the Garden

"Dream Week" is the moniker that the MSG Network has given to the Knicks slate of three games in five nights this week. Between Monday and Friday, the Garden will play host to Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in a cornucopia of basketball goodness. You don't often get weeks like this on a regular season schedule, so it is a dream week for basketball fans.

It might turn out to be hell week for the Knicks themselves, though. Mike D'Antoni's bunch has won eight of 11 and have .500 in their sights, the last thing they need is three losses to the league's elite to remind them that there are still miles to go before they're on that level. It's good to have a test, but three smackdowns in a row would be counter-productive to nascent playoff hopes and to the burgeoning confidence of recent weeks.

Not that three losses are preordained. The Lakers will be without center Andrew Bynum on Monday, while the Cavaliers and Celtics will each be playing the tail end of back-to-back games. The Knicks also handled the Celtics rather easily in their last meeting at the Garden. Winning one out of three doesn't seem like an unreasonable hope for the week. If they took two out of three, though, it would go from "Dream Week" to "Wild Fantasy Week."

They'd be 23-26 with two wins, matching their win total from all of last year, and, depending on other results, could move into the Eastern Conference's top eight. That's enough reason for hope starved Knick fans to dream big. Two wins against this week's competition would erase the last lingering doubts of the team's worthiness as a playoff aspirant, replacing them with confidence that would make the Garden a very fun place to spend some time this Spring.

Losing all three wouldn't erase all the good will that the Knicks have generated. They do have to go to the West Coast for three games next week, however, and a spate of losses would be a terrible way to head into the All-Star break. Whatever promotional title you want to put on it, it's a big week for the Knicks.

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