By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Tim Thomas Stands Tall As Knicks De-Claw Bobcats
NEW YORK, NY
NEW YORK, NY–– There’s only a few more days left in 2004 and the New York Knicks’ starting small forward Tim Thomas can’t wait until it’s finally over. This year has been well chronicled as a “bad year” for the Thomas family as a whole. In August, Thomas lost his 37-year-old sister to a sudden brain aneurism. She left two young boys (now ages 12 and 10) behind, to which Thomas (and other family members) is helping to raise in New Jersey. They were actually in the house at the time of her passing. Then his wife’s cousin died from a motorcycle accident three days later. He was 27 years old at the time of his passing.
Not to be out done, both his mother and his wife took ill over the late summer and early fall months. His mother required surgery and his wife’s illness has not been disclosed. And this was following Thomas suffering back and ankle injuries after being slammed to the floor by a hard foul by New Jersey Nets center Jason Collins in game one of the first round of last season’s playoff series. The Knicks without both Tim Thomas and Allan Houston were eliminated in four games.
Now as 2005 starts to approach, Thomas recently stated, “everybody now is healthy and I’m just ready to play basketball and win some games.” Thomas also recently stated, “the running and jumping part is the easy part. But, at this level, basketball it’s basically 90% mental.”
With Thomas’ mental state getting better, head coach Lenny Wilkens is giddy if not greedy. Wilkens said of Thomas, “you saw him go to the hole, you saw him post up. That’s what I’d like to see from him every night. Heck, four out of five nights would be great.”
Thomas deftly using his 6-foot-10 inch frame along with 240 pounds provided major matchup problems for the Bobcats. Thomas’s shot from the outside was falling as well as he canned a 3-pointer to seal the deal with 25.1 seconds left to hold off a Bobcat rally. The Knicks ended up winning the game, 91-82. The win not only pushed the Knicks back over .500 but also was a sign that their season long porous defense could be better after allowing their last two opponents 123 (Dallas Mavericks) and 114 points (Boston Celtics) in loses respectively.
The Knicks are not 14-13 overall and 9-4 at home this season. The Knicks play the Bobcats again on February 13th at MSG and for the last time this season again on April 16 at Charlotte. The Knicks now post a 57-28 record versus expansion teams since the 1961-62 season. Allan Houston made his first start for the Knicks for the first time in eight months dating back to last season. Houston finished with 16 points in a season high 29 minutes of action. He also has 900 three point field goals and needs just 83 to pass John Starks for first place on the all time Knicks list.