The NY Knicks Are Rolling
But are they ready to contend?
by Devon Alexandre / @DevonNBA
The New York Knicks are back, right?
They are currently on a winning streak of eight games; Amar’e has played MVP-caliber ball over that span; and neither the team nor their prized off-season signing are showing signs of slowing down.
So…is this all just a fluke, or can the Orange and Blue continue to put on a show for the New Yorkers?
Well, personally, I’m enjoying every second of this. The Knicks, whom for years have been cursed by poor front-office maneuvers and changes, are finally back on some sort of track. This excites me. Why?
The 2010-11 New York Knicks are making the NBA better.
I mean, why was everyone going bananas when LeBron James would make some statement pertaining to New York, or when some “source” would claim that LeBron wanted to play in New York? Because New York is the money-making, power-craving, star-studded unofficial capital of America. It’s the city of dreams. It’s the city that numerous songs, movies, and books were name after.
But how was there basketball team, prior to this season? In a word: horrible.
But thanks to a solid if not spectacular off-season, and some patience, things are beginning to look better in the Big Apple.
Honestly, who thought the Knicks would be in the upper echelon of the East? Certainly not me. I mean, Raymond Felton, and Amar’e aren’t bad players (in fact, they’re good); it’s just the fact that there are other teams with even better players.
Or it could just be that I overlooked the whole scheme of things.
The Knicks are coached by one of the A’s more popular coaches, in Mike D’Antoni, who coached Amar’e during his early years, and ran one hell of an offensive set during his stay in Phoenix. It’s no wonder this Knicks team is the second best overall offensive in the entire League. They average 107.7 ppg, second to D’Antoni’s former squad, the Suns. Surprise, surprise.
Then, there is the chemistry the Knicks seem to possess. If you watch them play, they look like a bunch of kids who just got out of school, and have been craving to get the Spalding in their hands all day. There’s a look in their eyes that says, “Hey, we’ve been pushed around for too long. Eff the world!”
Yes, the Knicks now have their star; they have the Mecca of basketball; and they have a fan base which is just craving for a long postseason run.
Everything for the Knicks, is golden..at the moment.
If New York really is at that level, then these are two of the teams they need to be able to compete against, in order to accomplish anything this season.
Miami is currently riding an eight-game win streak, and seem to just be coming into their own. This is perhaps one of the toughest matchups for the Knicks in the entire League. With Dwyane Wade and LeBron James both on the wings, the offense has two juggernauts, something the Knicks might have trouble stopping on the defensive end.
When these two teams meet next Friday, who knows, the Knicks might get completely killed. Or maybe not. Without a doubt, though, the Knicks will have their hands full come December 17th.
Before that, though, on December 15th, the defending Eastern Conference Champion, the Boston Celtics, come to New York.
So many things can be said about the Celtics. Whether it is the unity, the chemistry, the execution or the talent: The Celtics are no joke, and until proven otherwise, are the team to beat in the East.
Within this game, there are going to be two very interesting matchups.
Amar’e Stoudemire on Kevin Garnett. This is probably the better of the two. We have youth, strength, speed and power, against experience, heart, and a defensive mindset. It’s likely that the winner of the matchup will most likely go home with a smile on his face.
Then, there’s Rajon Rondo versus Raymond Felton. Both guards are skilled, athletic, fast and are very good with the ball. It might not be as close as the first matchup, but it’ll be interesting to watch, and just as crucial in deciding the winner.
No doubt, the Celtics have the edge when it comes to depth, but if you know the NBA, you know that nothing is ever certain.
This upcoming week for the Knicks will ultimately decide a lot. Are the Knicks a pretender, or is there something serious going on in the Big Apple? As of this moment, I can only tell you what I’ve seen, and that is great flow, tempo and togetherness.
But with two of the East’s better teams coming into the Garden, we will be able to actually see where the Orange and Blue stand.
Enjoy, NBA fans. I know I will.