Generally speaking, the New York Knicks frown upon the idea of congratulating themselves for keeping things competitive, and they're hardly the type to exult in a valiant effort following a tough loss. Nor should they be, as a team with noble -- if far-fetched -- aspirations for the franchise's first NBA title in three decades.
But in the case of Thursday night's 95-94 loss to the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder, the Knicks had plenty to be proud of, and their admiration of their own performance, from head coach Mike Woodson on down, was justified.
On a night that they were without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, who was out for the second consecutive game with a knee injury, the Knicks (37-22) played sound team basketball and received valuable contributions from every corner of the floor -- doing so when a solid team effort was the only thing that would keep them afloat against the defending Western Conference champions.
The Knicks played stoic defense and battled back from a slo...