A team doesn't get to be 20-7 by finishing many weeks below .500, but the Knicks were one monstrous fourth quarter from Carmelo Anthony away from doing just that this week. This wasn't a disaster, but it certainly felt like the Knicks were on the verge of losing their mojo as the minutes ticked away against the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday night. Unsurprisingly though, Anthony exploded for nineteen points in the fourth quarter and got the Knicks past the Wolves (playing without star Kevin Love) 94-91. The win closed an up-and-down stretch of four home games: another blowout loss to the Rockets, their first at home on the year (109-96), a handling of the Nets (100-86) and another frustrating defeat at the hands of the Bulls that may have ended close but really wasn't (110-106).

What Went Right This Week: After missing the Rockets game, Anthony returned from injury to lead the Knicks past the Nets on Wednesday night, overcoming a few tough stretches to pace the team with 31. And after a tough matchup with defensive stalwart Luol Deng of the Bulls Friday, he led the Knicks to victory against the Wolves and their defensive stopper, Andrei Kirilenko, scoring 33 points.

JR Smith completed his recovery from an ugly shooting slump, shooting 30-59 for the week. He kept the Knicks in the game with Minnesota with thirteen points and five assists in the first half as Anthony struggled through an 0-7 second quarter. He also showed he's not just a jump-shooter.

Tyson Chandler had two strong games, breaking the Nets game wide open with four big alley-oops and collecting eighteen boards against the Rockets. And in an otherwise uninspiring collection of defensive performances, the Knicks played lockdown defense against the Nets in the second half of their game on Wednesday, holding them to just 38 points during that period.

But They Only Went 2-2, Something Must Be Wrong, Right?: There's plenty to be concerned about. The Knicks got abused by the Rockets Monday, as someone named Jeremy Lin outplayed Raymond Felton, scoring 22 points (on 60% shooting) and dropping eight assists to Felton's fourteen points (38% shooting) and four dimes.

Felton's shooting hasn't been reliable—he was hitting shots just 40% of the time, which of course didn't stop him from jacking up an average of more than sixteen a game. Whether it's Felton's trigger happiness or Jason Kidd's sudden slowdown from the three point line, the Knicks' ball movement—a strength all year—slowed to a crawl, and not just against defensive powerhouse Chicago.

The Knicks defensive effort seems to have declined a bit as well, as they allowed both the Bulls and Rockets to score well over 100 points and were abused by Lin, Harden (28 points, ten assists) and Luol Deng (29 points). The Wolves' monster center Nikola Pekovic gave Chandler and everyone else fits as he finished with 21 points and seventeen boards. Oh, the boards. That's a place where the Knicks continue to get killed. And none of this has been helped by the fact that Rasheed Wallace is now day-to-day with a stress fracture in his foot.

While it's easy to write off the Rockets as a bad matchup against a team the Knicks don't play again in the regular season—and will almost certainly not see in the playoffs—their inability to beat the Bulls (playing without star Derrick Rose) is worrisome. They could easily run into Chicago with Rose back in the playoffs, maybe even in the first round.

Another worrisome development is the Knicks penchant for mixing it up with the referees when they are getting trounced. They started chirping at the refs a few weeks back when they got killed in Memphis, and they picked up right back where they left off against Chicago. That led to technical fouls and ejections for Woodson, Anthony and Chandler. Chandler's behavior was by far the worst, as he became enraged when native New Yorker Joakim Noah had the nerve to suggest he doesn't like being smashed with Chandler's elbows.

With three minutes to go in the fourth quarter against Minnesota, Coach Woodson picked up a tech that allowed the Wolves to take a four point lead. In a tight game, that could have been the difference. If the Knicks don't stop behaving so petulantly, it will eventually cost them a game. And there's no telling when that game might be.

Damn, That Was Heavy. Make Us Laugh: First, there was this shot of Spike Lee throwing a dirty look at an unknowing official amidst the Knicks' tech-fest Friday. Spike had a fun week: he also went to a fancy sneaker store and picked up a new pair of Knicks-colored kicks for Pablo Prigioni.

And twenty eight-year old rookie Chris Copeland was subjected to some Forever Lazy-related hazing.

Player of the Week: The Knicks won two games this week and Carmelo Anthony brought them both home. He's this week's winner, with an honorable mention for JR Smith.

Coming Up Next: The Knicks travel to the west coast for a Christmas Day matinee with the Lakers, winners of four straight, followed by games with the bottom-feeding Suns and Kings. West coast trips are never easy, but this one will be about more than wins and losses: Amar'e Stoudemire is expected to return to the lineup before the Knicks return home to New York. If he slides into the rotation somewhat smoothly, the week will be a success.

You can follow Jonathan Fishner on Twitter @therealkingfish, and check out his blog The Real King Fish.