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Dominating the 76ers and Nets is a critical step for the Knicks

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You gotta dominate your own weight class before you can move up.

William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, the Knicks are on a two-game winning streak! That's pretty cool, right? Knicks winning streaks are always fun.

Now this is the point where I should qualify this statement by reminding you that New York only managed to defeat the lowly Brooklyn Nets and the basketball abomination that is the Philadelphia 76ers. How much should we enjoy such easy victories? What can we learn about this team when all they've done is take care of business against the dregs of the East?

First of all, we can enjoy the shit out of it -- two wins equals 12 percent of their win total for the entire 2014-15 season. To the second point, this franchise has no business overlooking games against the Sixers and Nets, particularly if they're going to have any shot at a playoff berth.

We've learned a great deal over the first 20 games of the season -- not only about the Knicks, but the Eastern Conference as a whole. As for the Knicks, they're about as average as you can get: 10-10 record, 18th in O-rating, 15th in D-rating. Their conference, surprisingly enough, has fared much better, with 10 of 15 teams over .500. Having spent two seasons farting around while their conference was handing out playoff berths like dollar bills at a strip club, the Knicks have seemingly lost their margin for error.

New York is blessed to play in the same division as Philly and Brooklyn, giving them eight games against the dregs of the East; they probably need to win at least six of those. That's what any decent playoff team would do.

As you no doubt have learned over the years, New York is usually quite bad at doing the things any decent playoff team would do. Previous incarnations of Knickerbockers would absolutely take such winnable games lightly. They would drop games they should have won, and they would miss the postseason.

This team has generally avoided such mistakes; they didn't let up on Philly or Brooklyn, and they came away with two of the easiest wins of the season. The Knicks are 6-2 against teams currently under .500. It may not be sexy -- not sexy at all -- but it has kept them afloat as they've worked out the kinks in a very untested roster.

So by all means, Knicks, keep on beating the Nets and Sixers. Beat them eight times, if you please. They may be cheap wins, but they all count the same in the standings.