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The Knicks have a lot to know at home in a tight stretch

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A lot has changed in the 12 days since the Knicks last took over the park floor.

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They left for the Midwest right after one of their worst performances of the junior season, amid questions starting to bubble up about the coach Tom Thibodeau’s Job Securityand they came back on momentum after a 3-2 wild ride.

After awarding 145 points to the Thunder a week ago last Sunday, they played with more energy on the defensive side and put in a very good fourth quarter performance from their three wins, despite several players battling the flu. Young players like Jericho Sims and Quentin Grimes showed glimpses of promise, while Jalen Brunson continued to thrive in his first year as a Knick, closing out the ride With a 34-point, nine-assist masterpiece.

Now the 9-9 Knicks have to build on that trip and defeat some quality teams at home, which they haven’t been able to do so far. They’ve played better on the road in general, beating the likes of the Timberwolves, 76ers (albeit without Joel Embiid and James Harden), the Jazz, the Nuggets, and the Thunder, and doing well in tough losses to the Grizzlies and Cavaliers. They will have been four days without a game by the time the tip gets in on Friday night against the Trail Blazers.

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Quentin Grimes and Nicks return home after an impressive road trip.
AP

“It’s a challenge. You come off a trip, and you obviously have a recovery day, then practice and then the games. They come, and you have to be prepared,” said Thibodeau. “This time of year, it’s challenging. So, just be prepared, we have to be on lockdown. We have to be focused, we have to be ready to go when that ball goes up on Friday.”

At the park, the Knicks have a mediocre 4-3 mark, and those wins over the Pistons (twice), Magic and Hornets came shorthand. These teams possess a record of 15-42. Meanwhile, the Celtics, Thunder and Falcons manhandled the Knicks at home. It’s been a problem a year ago too, as Thibodeau’s team was going from 17 to 24 there. In the Eastern Conference, only the Pistons, Pacers and Magic had fewer home wins last season.

This upcoming stretch will provide the Knicks with the opportunity to start righting themselves at home. But like the last road trip, it won’t be easy. He starts Friday against the Damian Lillard Trail Blazers, followed by a visit on Sunday from Ja Morant and the Grizzlies. The Bucks come to town Wednesday at the end of a back-to-back game against the Pistons in Detroit. This upcoming weekend features tough matchups against the Mavericks and Cavaliers. Three days later, the Hawks and park villain Trae Young return.

Tom Thibodeau during the Knicks' loss to the Warriors on November 18, 2022.
Tom Thibodeau during the Knicks’ loss to the Warriors on November 18, 2022.
AP
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All six of these teams have winning records and are projected to be playoff teams. First place is Portland, which got off to a very strong start winning nine of its first 12 games but fell four straight. The Blazers are in the midst of a tough four-game road trip. In addition, Lillard has missed the last two games with a calf strain and will not be available against the Knicks.

“It’s a team that plays hard and can break down [you] Dribbling down, they came under fire, and they [are a good] Boomerang [team]Thibodeau said. “They have a lot of things that we have to be prepared for.”

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