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NEW YORK -- We hereby present you with four simple words that haven't been written or spoken in many, many years:
The Knicks are good.
No. 1 in the NBA in road wins, blocked shots and made 3-pointers. No. 3 leaguewide in points scored. One more win and one fewer loss away from being tied with the Miami Heat for the No. 3 spot in the entire Eastern Conference.
If you are one of the many folks in New York who have been losing sleep and failing to keep track of the rest of the sports world for the past several weeks as the protracted Derek Jeter negotiations played out, we have a news bulletin for you:
The 'Bockers, as the team has occasionally taken to calling itself, are back.
Sunday's victory in Toronto made it nine wins in the past 10 games for the Knicks, who less than three weeks ago seemed headed for Year 10 of their consistent irrelevancy streak. Instead, they are entering a week featuring four very winnable games (Minnesota, Toronto, Washington, Denver) before the schedule gets extra tough to close the month of December, with seven of the final eight opponents likely playoff teams.
At 12-9, 21 games are in the books.
That's approximately one-fourth of the season, which means it is report card time.
Chris Sheridan is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.
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