Growing up in the Tri-State area, I have seen many Knick moments to make me proud and some not so proud. I have been through the Johnny Newman and Gerald Wilkins years; I have witnessed the rise of Patrick Ewing and Mark Jackson. I watched in awe of Pat Riley and his commitment to defense. I appreciated the days of Oak and Harper and to the resignation of Riley by fax and his exodus to Miami. As fans we have seen an assistant coach, Jeff Van Gundy, become the beloved Head Coach and NY basketball royalty. We have all witnessed the dark years of Isiah Thomas, Eddie Curry and Stephon Marbury. A new day has dawned in NY basketball, a day of reckoning. It started in 2010 and now the expectations are at an all-time high for 2012/13. These are my key points to a winning season.
Age and Health:
Are the expectations of winning warranted? This team is built for today and not tomorrow. Age is a factor because most of the role players are over 35; however they have a treasure trove of knowledge and experience. I am content with the signings this off-season and am interested in watching this team gel as a unit. Injury is the key to a competitive successful season for the New York Knicks. Age is only a problem if health and wear and tear hold them back to mediocrity.
Point Guard Play:
The Point Guard is the extension of the Head Coach’s concepts and ideas. The combination of Felton and Kidd with a pinch of Pablo can make a bouillabaisse of solid point play this season. As an organization the Knicks are not looking for flash and dash, but a full 48 minutes of ball control. It is Kidd, Felton and Pablo’s job to get others involved and feed the stars. If these 3 can do this, then the mountain top is obtainable.
Amare and his New Moves:
Amare and his new moves are something that will be scrutinized and analyzed early in the season. If Amare executes his first “Dream Shake” or a few other Hakeem type moves with perfection, than this could be a special season. If these moves are awkward and off balance, will he abandon his training and revert back to the one dimensional Amare we all witnessed last year? Time will tell and as Amare go’s, so does the Knicks season.
The Center position is important for every team in the NBA and on every basketball team in the world. The New York Knicks arguably have the best defensive center and the 11/12 Defensive Player of the Year in Tyson Chandler and a solid back-up and former Defensive Player of the Year in Marcus Camby. Like the Point Guard position, a full 48 minutes of tough, rugged, put you on your a** basketball is mandatory to help this team excel. Defending the rim is their job, and this job is with a lunch pale and a hard hat.
These keys are what will give us joy or will bring us complete pain. Do the Knicks have the audacity to believe they can win the division or take a deep trip into the playoff’s? Or as a Knick fan, should I believe that nothing good will happen and the age and health of our players will be the downfall to another season of despair? I would like to believe in this team and hope the days of championship contention are on the horizon. Do I have the audacity to expect a championship?
Peter A. Knickswag Chief Editor