CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Knicks Off to a Blazing Hot Start
NEW YORK, NY (BASN)–Hey enough about the Philadelphia 76ers not having their best player in Andrew Bynum and to a lesser extent, Jason Richardson who left Sunday’s game at Madison Square Garden just 2 minutes into the game with a bad ankle. He subseqently missed the second end of the back-to-back in Philadelphia the very next night.
The New York Knicks however were without two of their better rotation players in Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert (both out with knee injuries) who are both expected back several weeks from now. Returning Knick center, Marcus Camby was out as well with a sore left calf muscle. So the argument that the Sixers weren’t at full strength holds no water because neither were the Knicks.
The Knicks are 3-0 with defense and hot shooting that culminated from supurb ball movement. Long gone (although he was the head coach at the beginning of last season) are the days of the high octane and no attention to real detail on defense of former coach, Mike D’Antoni. Coach Mike Woodson demands accountability from the first to the 15th man. Woodson aka Woody is a meticulous as they come with regards to how he wants things done and approached. He’s almost Pat Riley-ish in that regard.
The Knicks haven’t been 3-0 since the 1999-2000 season; which is also the last time the franchise has won a Playoff series. After 3 games, the Knicks are ranked number one in team defense giving up a stingy 85.4 points per game while averging 104 points. Sixers coach Doug Collins who’s team held the New Orleans Hornets to 62 points recently said, “that team really has no weakness. They’re deep, experienced and they defend.”
Camby mentioned, “the guys are laughing and having fun out there on the floor and making the game easy for one another.” There’s a lot more season to go but the early returns are very favorable. And to think this Knicks team isn’t even at full strength yet.
Jerald L. Hoover