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A Look Ahead

Hell no, we're not talking about the p-word. Yes, I know Michael Redd's leg blew up. I know the Nets are plummeting. It's just too early to peer ahead that far. And maybe I'm a little queasy at the idea of coping with the emotional turmoil of the p-word right now, ok? It's been awhile. Anyway, no p-word chatter here. What we're talking about is the schedule over the next week or two because it is a DOOZY, y'all. Someone in the NBA scheduling office is a big-time penis. Look:

Knicks Schedule

Next 5 Games

Atlanta Wed 01/28 7:35 PM EST
@ Indiana Sat 01/31 7:00 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers Mon 02/02 7:30 PM EST
Cleveland Wed 02/04 7:30 PM EST
Boston Fri 02/06 7:30 PM EST

After that, it's a three-game western trip against all your favorite Knicks in Portland, Golden State, and LAC. First and foremost, though, is that five game stretch, and particularly the home games. The four teams visiting the Garden in the next week and a half have, by my count, a combined 1,290 wins. Even with recent success in mind, I'd feel lucky to be looking at 21-28 two weekends from now. Here's the thing, though. The Knicks are riding high in the 10 spot with 19 wins, but there are four(!) teams nipping at their heels, sitting two or less games back of our p-word hopefuls. I can't back this up with math, but it sure looks like the Knicks could drop to near-last in the East simply by laying an egg over these next five contests. I know the conference is tight and things can change either way in a heartbeat, but it's harder to climb than it is to sink.

So what's a reasonable best-case scenario for this upcoming stretch? I'm thinking two wins would be a welcome and not completely far-fetched record over the next five. What do you think? Could we possibly expect better? Am I being over-optimistic? For what it's worth, those two wins could come in any of the five games (although the Cavs haven't even flinched against New York this season and two wins against the Celtics is probably too much to ask). The point is these Knicks are a whimsical bunch, and one can't know how they'll fare against the titanic opposition to come. Two wins is my magic number, though. Two wins, and then maybe we can talk about the p-word.