Opening Tip: Who are the real Knicks?

If you’re a Knicks fan, your team has been all over the map this season. New York started the season at 3-13, stumbled to 9-21, won six of seven to start the new year and now has lost two in a row.

So, that raises the question: Who are the real Knicks?

That query seems hard to answer at this point. And it will be difficult to draw any conclusions Friday night.

The Knicks are far from healthy heading into Friday’s game against the Clippers. Kenyon Martin suffered an ankle injury against Indiana. So did Amar'e Stoudemire. Tim Hardaway Jr. hurt his wrist. Stoudemire and Martin aren’t expected to play. Hardaway's status is unclear.

Pablo Prigioni (toe) won’t be available. So the Knicks will be extremely short-handed against the Clippers.

So at this point, it's anyone's guess whether the Knicks are closer to the team that recently won five in a row -- including wins over Dallas, San Antonio and Miami -- or closer to the team that lost by 28 to Indiana.

Up now: Carmelo Anthony and Mike Woodson express frustration with the Knicks' effort in Indiana.

Martin and Stoudemire left Thursday’s game with ankle injuries. Neither one is expected to play Friday against Los Angeles. Hardaway suffered a wrist injury but is expected to play.

J.R. Smith made his return to the Knicks’ lineup after being benched against the Bobcats on Tuesday.

What’s next? The Knicks will play the Clippers on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

Question: Who are the real Knicks? The team that started the season 3-13? The team that won five straight this month? Or is it too early to make a judgment at this point?

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