The New York Knicks looked like they might be headed to the cellar once the Jeremy Lin era all but ended a couple of weeks ago, but the team's undergone another resurgence since firing coach Mike D'Antoni in favor of Mike Woodson.
A win on Wednesday night would put them in the heat of the NBA Playoff race, though. It won't be easy to upset the division-leading Philadelphia 76ers, but New York will attempt to do just that when they tip off at the Wells Fargo Center at 7 p.m. in a game scheduled to be televised on ESPN.
The Knicks have won four in a row, nearly all of which have been blowouts, while playing inspired defense and running what looks to be a bit of a better offense. Carmelo Anthony is only averaging 15.3 points during the winning streak, but it seems he's bought into playing professional basketball once again -- a bad omen considering he's typically been very good against the Sixers in the past.
Philadelphia had been on a three-game losing streak, but they thumped the Charlotte Bobcats by 25 points in their last outing to rectify that wrong. With a healthy roster for the first time in ages, the team will now look to build on its lead in the Atlantic Division ... a lead that will likely be helped out by the team's bench, if Mike Prada's article on the best backups in the NBA is any indication.
The vaunted "Night Shift" took a bit of a hit recently when second-year guard Evan Turner replaced slumping Jodie Meeks in the starting lineup, but this is still a loaded crew. The 76ers bring their top perimeter scorer (Lou Williams) and best interior scorer and defender (Thaddeus Young) off the bench to change games, and they've helped lift the 76ers to first place in the Atlantic Division.