Much to the derision of Knicks beat writers who’d sooner call him out via Twitter than in the newspaper, head coach Mike D’Antoni reacted to Wednesday’s dispiriting loss to the Clippers by suggesting paying customers should refrain from chanting for Carmelo Anthony, lest his current players become too depressed. Conversely, the NY Post’s Mike Vaccaro, while not directly addressing the ‘Mel0 chants, takes in the overall unrest at the World’s Most Dysfunctional Arena and argues that as much as New York’s “48 minute cry for help” versus Los Angeles’ less franchise, “earned their coach’s rather”, said effort also was well worthy of “the fans’ fury”.

For two years, Knicks fans waded through game after meaningless game and were sold a promise that the wait would be worth it. For three months, they were mostly rewarded for that. But the truth is, if the Lakers do what they’re expected to do tonight and humble the Knicks, the Knicks will be precisely where they ought to be, if you think about it: 26 wins, 26 losses.

That’s about right. The Knicks weren’t as bad as they looked in starting the season 3-8. They weren’t as good as they looked when they promptly won 13 of their next 14. What they are, right now, is something in the middle: capable of winning a game against the Spurs and the Heat now and again, capable of losing to the Clippers and the Suns and the Kings, at home.

Maybe .500 would’ve been acceptable and agreeable in November. But the Knicks have taunted and teased. They’ve elevated the bar.