Here are a few things to keep an eye on during Monday night's Knicks-Pistons game:
Will they compete? The Knicks have trailed by 25 points in each of their past three games, all of which have been embarrassing losses on national television.
Those performances have led many to wonder whether the team has given up on the season.
Carmelo Anthony called the Knicks out for playing with a lack of pride and failing to compete in their loss to the Bulls on Sunday. Two days earlier, J.R. Smith said the team lacked "heart" after a loss to the Warriors. So it will be interesting to see whether the Knicks respond to those criticisms and keep things competitive against the Pistons.
Detroit isn't in the class of Miami, Chicago or Golden State. The Pistons have dropped four in a row and seven of eight.
They've struggled on the defensive end lately, giving up an average of 112.3 points on 49.6 percent shooting in their past seven games, according to STATS LLC.
Playoff push?!?! It feels silly even typing those words at this point. The Knicks are six games behind the eighth-place Hawks with 22 games to play.
Since the current 16-team playoff format began in 1983-84, only two playoff qualifiers were five or more games out of the eighth playoff spot with 25 or fewer games left in the season (1996-97 Bullets, 2004-05 Nets).
Both of those teams were swept in the first round.
Point forward? The Knicks have gotten abused by opposing point guards for most of the season. The latest lead guard to crush New York was Chicago backup D.J. Augustin, who had a game-high 23 points in the Bulls' 19-point win on Sunday.
The Knicks may catch a break on Monday, though, as Detroit point guard Brandon Jennings is struggling. He's scoring just 11.1 points while shooting 29.9 percent from the field in his past eight games, per STATS LLC.
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