It’s time to party like it’s 1994, folks!
The record? 14 wins against just two losses, the most victories in a single month since New York won 15 games all the way back in 1968. Yes, you read that right. The last time the Knickerbockers won more than 14 games in a single month they couldn’t yet call themselves World Champions. As crazy as it sounds!
The New York Knicks have won 14 games in January.— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) January 31, 2024
The last season New York won 14 games in a month was 1993-94.
That Knicks team made the NBA Finals... pic.twitter.com/w6z6EOm2Mn
What these Knicks have done in January, in what we have all come to know as the OG Era of New York Basketball, had only happened two other times before: in November 1969 (14-1) and March 1994 (14-0). That’s it, that’s the list. Just two times (barring that 15-win month in 1968) had the Knicks won at least 14 games in the history of the Association and the Knickerbocker organization!
Oh, also: the last time it happened the NYK made the Finals. The Finals. The Knicks. See what I'm saying?
But hey, there's more! Do you want an even crazier statistic? Well, the Knicks won three fewer games in January 2024 than they did in the 2015 and 2019 full regular seasons, as they finished those years with 17 wins apiece. Yikes!
To think that latter iteration of the Knicks is only five seasons removed from this team... God bless Lord Rose and Sir Thibs!
After entering January boasting a mediocre 17-15 record through the first 32 games of the season, all the Knicks did was win, win, win no matter what. The record now sits at a fancy 31-17 and New York, following Tuesday’s slate of games, is currently sitting all by itself in the no. 3 seed of the Eastern Conference, a full game above Philadelphia and Cleveland, and just 1.5 games behind the no. 2 Bucks.
No team in the Association will hit February riding a longer game-winning streak than the Knicks’ at eight consecutive victories after destroying the Jazz at MSG a few hours ago.
Hell, no team in the NBA has won more consecutive matchups (Sacramento, four straight) than half of the figure the Knicks have put together of late.
Remove that silly loss to Orlando on Jan. 15 and we would be talking about the best month in the history of Knicks Hoops and a ridiculous 10-game winning streak as we’re about to flip the calendar page to February.
And it’s not that the Knicks faced minnows all month long. New York defeated the best team in the Western Conference, Minnesota, to kick the month off in winning fashion. They beat title-favorite Philadelphia four days after that, and just last week they pulled off extraordinary back-to-back wins against both participants in the 2023 NBA Finals, Denver and Miami.
You can only beat whoever is on the other side of the court, and that’s precisely what the Knicks have done this month. They have won on the road. They have won at the Garden. Games separated by three days, by two, by one, and also swept the three back-to-back sets handed to them by the NBA. Uh, oh.
The Knicks had a hella tough start to the season with a hard schedule to navigate through November and December but somehow escaped that gauntlet mostly unscathed and with a winning record.
Things aren’t getting super easy (New York has the 19th-softest remaining schedule according to Tankathon), but at least the Knicks will catch a bit of a breath going forward and a literal break in mid-February thanks to the All-Star festivities to be held in a couple of weeks.
Don’t get things wrong, though, as New York will still have to fight the likes of Philly (thrice), Boston (twice), Milwaukee, Denver, Oklahoma City, and Cleveland through their remaining 34 games from Feb. 1 (vs. Indiana) through Apr. 14 (finale vs. Chicago).
That said, New York will also enjoy matchups against Detroit (twice), San Antonio, Portland, Toronto, Memphis, and Brooklyn (twice), with most of those teams either fighting for a top-3 pick now or soon and after dealing their sauciest assets before the Feb. 8 trade deadline.
As the great philosopher Bil Keane said, “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s because it belongs to the Knicks.”