The Knicks snapped their nine-game losing streak on Thursday with a 30-point win over the Nets, and followed it up with a 38-point victory over the Magic at home the very next night.
Any belief that the Knicks problems were on the verge of being solved, however, was delusional at worst, and short-lived at best.
New York hosted the Celtics on Sunday for a noon tip-off at Madison Square Garden, but essentially didn’t bother to show up. Boston opened the game by getting out to leads of 12-0, 18-1, 25-5 and 34-10 on the way to a 41-point shellacking of the Knicks on their home floor.
There’s something about these Sunday afternoon games at home that simply doesn’t work for the Knicks; they lost in similarly humiliating fashion to the Spurs back on Nov. 10 by 31 points.
New York was without Kenyon Martin in this one due to a sore ankle, and started Tim Hardaway Jr. in his place. But that hardly was the reason for this disaster. When you start the game without a field goal for the first six-plus minutes and fall behind by as many as 25 points in the opening period, it’s due to an embarrassing lack of focus and effort more than anything else.
The Knicks fell to 5-14 on the season, while the Celtics improved to 10-12 — under .500, but leading the dreadful Atlantic Division which means the fourth seed in the dismal Eastern Conference.