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Kristian Winfield: Judge Knicks in April, not in February during nail-biting win against league-worst Pistons

Kristian Winfield, New York Daily News on

Published in Basketball

NEW YORK — Judging the Knicks on games played in February is a moot mission.

Reserving judgment for the end of the regular season into the playoffs is a far more appropriate course of action.

It’s easy to get goaded into unreasonable expectations given the bright Madison Square Garden lights blaring onto a team looking to make a deeper playoff run than last year’s second-round appearance.

The roster taking The Garden floors is not one bound for the playoffs — at least not yet.

Tom Thibodeau’s team is one biding time for its stars to return to form. It’s the reason the Knicks lost six of the eight games played entering Monday night’s nail-biter against the Detroit Pistons, who own the league’s worst record with more than six times as many losses (49) as wins (eight) on the season.

The Knicks snoozed their way through the majority of the game, then woke up to a Pistons team sniffing a rare win at Madison Square Garden.

 

New York trailed by as many as seven, led by as much as 13, and eventually won on a fluke series of no-calls on the game’s final possession, where Donte DiVincenzo ran over Pistons’ rookie Ausar Thompson chasing for a loose ball with eight seconds left and the Knicks down one.

The sequence eventually led to Josh Hart making an and-one layup to put the Knicks up for good.

It was a brutal Knicks performance against a team threatening to go back-to-back as worst in the league.

This team’s struggles are understandable, however, given who is on the injury report.

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