Keith Schlosser, SNY.tv
With little to no lingering effects of the orbital and plantar fasciitis injuries he's battled this season, Lance Thomas is finally playing at the level the Knicks knew he was capable of. Averaging 10.8 points on 58% shooting and 5.5 rebounds over his last four games, the forward is simply making the right plays that help New York on both ends of the floor. They've gone 2-2, with one of those losses being a last second heartbreaker to Toronto. The team is playing at an elevated level and Thomas has been a big part of that.
After a dismal campaign to this point, suddenly making a playoff push (being 4 games out with 21 left) still doesn't seem so much out of the realm of possibility. Carmelo Anthony is playing at a high level, Kristaps Porzingis has returned from injury, Thomas is filling his role, and Joakim Noah's season-ending injury may prove to be a blessing in disguise because it allows other players to be given deserved opportunities. Thomas is included in that conversation, especially because the Knicks had settled into a comfortable rotation with him on the sidelines. Noah's absence should continue to open things up.
Everyone wants to win. Just about every player has the hunger to compete. Unfortunately, fighting tooth and nail to break in to the postseason as an eighth seed (only to get swept right out) isn't what's best for the long term future of the franchise. Coincidentally so, keeping Thomas past this year might not be, either