I was going to post this too to lead into this thought. I predicted the raps losing streak and the recent winning streak before it all happened. It was not about Lowry being out. Not about Bargnani. Not about Jose playing well. Maybe a bit about Andersen and his three point shot returning. It was about the schedule. Even Bargnani would have had a field day against that Orlando team. I contended at the beginning of the year that at best we could be a .500 team. To do that we would have to beat the bad teams just as we would have to lose to the good teams. The middle teams we would have to split. That's what makes January the month to watch. Lots of games against that middle tier. This, not our 4-19 start, is going to determine the season. February gets a bit tougher but we still have a whole slate of games against the lower (even lower than us!) teams from the east after that. The middle tier of the east is really inconsistent and any one of those teams beats another on a given night. If we get into that and hold our own, Miami, here we come. :)
Love this paragraph:
"Removing his languid play, his indifferent defense, his non-existent rebounding and his all-around energy-sapping presence has had a noticeable impact on the way that the team attacks at both ends of the floor. No longer do his ball-stopping proclivities disrupt the offensive flow. No longer are defensive rotations at the rim missed because he failed to read his responsibilities and act on them. Plus, let's be frank, not having him around has kept Casey from overvaluing his contributions and placing too much of the team's fortunes on Bargnani's shoulders. It's amazing how much Casey's coaching improved this season when Bargnani wasn't around for him to feature at the center of his attack."