The New York Knicks' record currently stands at 9-15, a tremendous disappointment for the expectations that were placed on this team by everyone: the players, the coach, the media, the fans, you name it. I'm one of these people that were expecting big things from the Knicks this season, and I still am. Patience is key.
I am aware that the season is shortened to 66 games due to the lockout, but you have to keep in mind that the season is only one third of the way finished. Keep in mind, as horrendous as the Knicks have played to open up this campaign, they are 1 1/2 games behind the MIGHTY Milwaukee Bucks, who are without Andrew Bogut, for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. Right now, the Orlando Magic have the sixth spot, and they don't even know if Dwight Howard will be on their team after the All-Star break. And the aging Boston Celtics have the seventh spot.
Say what you want, but it's a long year, and you only need to get to the eighth spot to dance. A fun fact: the last time the NBA was in a Lockout, the Knicks took a while to gel as a unit and sneaked into the playoffs as the EIGHTH seed at a record of 27-23. It doesn't matter who pretty or ugly it is, just get to the eighth spot, and with the talent on this roster, I believe it will be done.
As tough as it is to watch some of these dreadful games, you have to expect growing pains and a little bit of time to gain chemistry between the players. Amare Stoudemire has had to change up his role almost entirely from last season with the addition of a true center, Tyson Chandler. However, with the addition of the true center, the Knicks lost a true point guard; something the team is severely lacking right now. When the Knicks amnestied Chauncey Billups, his salary came off the books and therefore the Knicks could get the inside presence they sorely needed.
It's been tough to watch rookie Iman Shumpert, Toney Douglas, and even Mike Bibby try and run the point this year trying to set the offense up. The fans and media in New York love to hate on Coach Mike D'Antoni for his all offense, no defense mentality, but he hasn't been given the most important thing for his offensive philosophy to truly thrive: a point guard!
If you look in the past, Amare and Melo have always had a Steve Nash, a Chauncey Billups, or an Andre Miller to dish it out to them. Not this year. People thought Baron Davis would fill that role when he came back, but he has appeared to have had another setback with his injury.
But look who is coming to the rescue: the Harvard grad! Jeremy Lin?! It may seem strange, and who could have predicted it, but Lin has some game. He burst on the scene at MSG against the Nets, and played excellent. He had 25 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Possibly more impressive was the fact that he guarded Deron Williams very well. I'm not going to declare Lin the savior to the Knicks, but his abililty to penetrate and get the offense going is a great sign. I acknowledge that it's only one game, and yes it was the Nets, but let's see what Lin can provide in his first start tonight against the Utah Jazz.
Lin has definitely brought an element of fun and excitement back to the Garden. It looks like the chemistry is building, slowly but surely. The Knicks have won two of their last four games, and lost two tough games to Chicago and Boston. Give it some time, the Knicks are almost there. Jeremy Lin may have been the spark to a slow start for the Knicks.
To close this out, I'm going to have to disagree with a line from Drake's "Crew Love" in regard to Jeremy Lin: "I guess we'll never know where Harvard gets us..." FALSE. We do. It's the playoffs, Drake.
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