Opening Tip: Renewed optimism?

The Knicks will take the practice floor Monday morning a game out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The real race in the East, though, is for sixth place. Whoever finishes sixth can avoid Indiana or Miami in the first round. The Knicks are 4 1/2 games out of sixth place right now, which is currently occupied by the Wizards.

New York seems to have gained some momentum over the weekend by beating the Bobcats and Lakers. Carmelo Anthony totaled 97 points in the two games to help the Knicks start their third winning streak of the season.

“We’re going to take it one game at a time,” Anthony said. “We got one Tuesday and see if we can continue the streak.”

New York has two winnable games coming up at home (against Boston and Cleveland) before it faces the Heat on Saturday night. So Mike Woodson & Co. can make up some ground this week at the Garden.

Is this weekend's streak a cause for optimism amid what has been a disappointing season for New York?

Up now: The Knicks didn’t need 62 from Carmelo to beat the Lakers on Sunday. They got plenty of support from Anthony’s teammates.

Kobe Bryant had some valuable advice for Anthony but doesn’t want to recruit him in free agency.

Another Laker great, Magic Johnson, says Anthony should re-sign in New York.

What’s next: The Knicks will practice Monday to get ready for Tuesday’s game against Boston.

Question: Did the Knicks’ two-game winning streak give you any reason to be optimistic about the team? Or do you still see them going nowhere this year?

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