Amar’e Stoudemire: Atlantic Division ‘is still open’

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The Knicks are off to their worst start in franchise history, but Amar’e Stoudemire isn’t ready to declare this season a lost cause just yet.

New York fell to 4-17 after a last-second loss in Charlotte on Friday, but thanks to just how dreadful the level of competition is in the East, the team is just five-and-a-half games out of the final playoff spot in the conference.

But Stoudemire narrowed the playing field even further, stating that winning the Atlantic Division remains a possibility, at least in his eyes.

From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

“With Toronto and [DeMar] DeRozan being hurt now, you never know how that team is going to end up. Brooklyn’s not playing great. The division is still open,” Stoudemire said after the Knicks’ loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday night. “We’ve just got to turn this thing around.”

DeRozan is out indefinitely with a torn tendon in his left groin, and the Raptors have won two of four since the shooting guard went down.

The Knicks are 11.5 games behind first-place Toronto entering play Saturday. They’ve also lost seven straight and 16 of their past 18.

Think about that for a second. Toronto has won two games — half as many as New York’s win total for the season — with its leading scorer sidelined due to injury.

Stoudemire might be a bit overly optimistic where the division is concerned. But there is still plenty of time for the Knicks to figure things out, go on a bit of a run, and contend for a spot in the postseason. It just doesn’t seem all that likely based on what we’ve seen from them thus far.