The New York Knicks were technically “supposed” to beat the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday evening. The Knicks entered the game as two-point betting favorites and, with that in mind, it wasn’t shocking that New York hold serve at home. However, the way the Knicks did it was certainly jarring, putting up a season-high 143 points and blasting the Hawks by a 23-point margin.
While at least part of the result was an indictment on Atlanta’s disastrous defense, the Knicks seemingly took some solace in the victory, with Marcus Morris sharing some interesting thoughts after the final buzzer.
"I'm not gonna go out and say we're going to make the playoffs, but s—, that's what we're fighting towards. If we continue to play like this and pull together, we have a great shot to do it"
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) December 18, 2019
There is nothing inherently wrong with a professional athlete having goals for his team and the Knicks have won three out of the last four games. That probably has New York feeling better but, in short, the Knicks aren’t making the playoffs barring something totally incredible. The team has demonstrably improved since David Fizdale’s firing but, at just 7-21 and with glaring weaknesses with a mismatched roster, Morris’ apparent confidence is probably a little bit misplaced.
It will be (very) interesting to see how the Knicks follow up their explosion against Atlanta when they face the Miami Heat later this week because, well, the Heat are a lot better than the Hawks. For one night, though, the Knicks were good enough for a veteran player to start discussing the playoffs despite a record that is still 14 games under .500.