Are the Knicks for Real?

Posted by By at 9 January, at 00 : 09 AM Print

This past off season there were many marquee players available on the free agent market. Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Dirk Nowitzki and Carlos Boozer, just to name a few. Although none of these players were signed by the New York Knicks, Amare Stoudemire, the true definition of a “Power Forward” was. As soon as free agency opened up he was their only major acquisition. The initial thought was that Amare would help the Knicks lure Lebron to The Big Apple and give the Knicks the best 1-2 punch in the league. Unfortunately their plan never materialized and they had to move on.

Lebron never came to New York and Knicks fans and critics alike all agreed that the Knicks would be improved, but would still be a few players away from returning to the Playoffs. General Manager Donnie Walsh had re-united Amare with his former Phoenix Suns Coach Mike D’Antoni with the hopes he could re-ignite the fireball of a player Amare was a couple years back. What was missing was a quality Point Guard to compliment Amare, similar to what Steve Nash did in Phoenix. Before the season began, the Knicks signed former Charlotte Bobcat Point Guard Raymond Felton to help bolster the Knick back court and provide a pick-n-roll partner Amare could work with. Amare was most effective when he ran the pick-n-roll and the Knicks hoped Felton could fill in the shoes Nash had worn.

The Knicks headed into the off-season with high expectations of bringing in free agents that would help bring back quality basketball to New York. They had spent the past few seasons clearing cap space in order to have additional salary available to spend on the 2010 class of free agents. Unfortunately for the Knicks and Donnie Walsh, it didn’t go as planned and Stoudemire and Felton were the only major signings by the club.

Although these two players were the only two that the Knicks were able to bring in, they still had quality assets on their roster in Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and unknown 2nd round draft pick Landry Fields. The Knicks are right in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference with a 20-14 record and are keeping up with the Eastern Conference powers. No one would ever have thought the Knicks would be competing at such a high level, but it looks more and more like the Knicks winning ways aren’t a fluke. Earlier in the season, they had an easier schedule and some thought that their win/loss record was a product of this. This doesn’t appear to be the case as the Knicks winning ways have continued to impress the league and its fans. Amare Stoudemire has proven to be more than they ever could have hoped for as he is steam rolling the competition and having a career season. Raymond Felton has been the answer at the Point that they have been in desperate need of ever since John Starks suited up for them. And Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari have each become more than just role players, providing additional scoring punch on the wings and giving the Knicks depth that they never thought they would have had.

The Knicks roster is rounding into form and their depth is proving to be giving opposing teams fits as they keep pushing through their schedule. Wilson Candler, by far, is having a career year. He is playing above the rim, playing tight defense and is no longer a role player. Averaging nearly 18 points per game, Chandler has become quite the scoring threat. Add Danilo Gallinari who is averaging close to 2 three pointers per contest and over 15 points per game and it is clear to see that Danilo has matured into a downtown threat who shoots with no regard and lengthens opposing defenses. Landry Fields was drafted in the 2nd round of this past NBA Draft. Fields was never expected to become a starter, let alone get minutes but Fields earned his spot in the starting lineup and has been named NBA Rookie of the Month for November and December,

Rounding out the depth of the Knicks are players who have all been playing out of this world and have helped the Knicks regain respect including Ronny Turiaf and Toney Douglas who are each having unexpected seasons.

As the Knicks continue to win one must wonder whether or not the Knicks are playing out of their mind or if they are in fact as good as they are playing. With a roster full of depth and quality players, the Knicks appear to be back. Not since the days of Patrick Ewing, John Starks and Anthony Mason have they had such depth on their roster. New York is starving for a winner, and has watched the Knicks fail year after year and now look like they may see the light at the end of the tunnel. Fans have been waiting for years for great basketball to return to the Big Apple, and it appears as though this version of the Knicks is for real!

The Bowse's Word

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