The New York Knicks are the Hottest Team in the NBA

Don't look now, but things are heating up in the Big Apple. The New York Knicks won their 7th game in a row on Tuesday night, defeating the Charlotte Hornets 109-97, combining stingy defense with an RJ Barrett offensive explosion in the 2nd half. After allowing the Hornets to score 66 points in the first half, the Knicks put the clamps down and held Charlotte to 31 points after the break. While Julius Randle didn't have his best shooting night, he still produced an excellent all-around game, going for 16 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. 
The Knicks are now 32-27, have the NBA's longest winning streak and sit in 5th place in the Eastern Conference. This is a big deal for a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs since the 2012-13 season, while being on their seventh head coach in that same span. 

New York now has an intriguing matchup versus the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night, as the two teams could play each other in the first round of the playoffs. Head coach Tom Thibodeau is hoping his players forget about the win streak and concentrate on the Hawks: 

The important thing for us is not to get lost. You start looking into the playoffs (and) win streaks, you lose focus on getting ready for Atlanta. That's where our focus has to be. We just go day-by-day, step-by-step, and if we're taking care of all the things we need to take care of, then all of the other stuff will take care of itself. And it's easy to get knocked off course. You can't do that.

Look for Thibs to have his troops ready to go for the Hawks on Wednesday night, in an exciting potential first round playoff preview. 

Photo Credit: POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports