By Professor Fred Whitted NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — The title above...
Knicks Kick Sand in the Face of Heat
Boys from New York Place with Purpose in Win
NEW YORK , NY (BASN)-–– The New York Knicks have served notice to the entire NBA world that they are for real and are here to stay. The Mike Woodson led Knicks have a serious outlook and approach to the game of winning basketball. “I think it’s out there, there’s no doubt about that,” Woodson said of the idea that the Knicks can actually finish at the top of the Eastern Conference and ahead of the reigning World Champion, Miami Heat. “I’ve been pushing all along with this team that we’ve got to stay at the top of our division and try to win our division and try to host the first round at home.”
They’re all playing with a chip on their shoulders and with something to prove. Sure starting point guard has been quoted several times that he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder for his not being in proper playing shape last season in Portland.
Everyone from the coach to the star players in Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire have to prove that they can finally play together and play well and effective at the same time on the court. The core players are young and in their primes but a lot of the reserves are up there in age. Future Hall-of-famer Jason Kidd who shunned the Dallas Mavericks and overtures from the Brooklyn Nets to sign with the (much to the dismay of Mark Cuban) Knicks, has to prove that age is nothing but a number. Along with Kidd up there in the AARP seats is Marcus Camby (38), Kurt Thomas (40), 35 year old rookie, Pablo Prigioni out of Argentina and Rasheed Wallace (38), there is something to prove.
But, it’s something about players that play with a championship heart. Not to mention the fact that the Knicks’ overall team IQ with Kidd, Thomas and Rasheed is off the charts. It’s good for players and teams overall to have an edge or something to prove. The smarter and more hungrier teams do the little things that make for winning basketball: defense, making the extra pass, enjoying your teammates even off the court, beating teams you should beat whether home or away and most of all, maintaining your focus.
The Knicks, they’ve now beaten the Heat, not once but twice this season. And the final margin was of the blowout variety as in the tune of 20 points. That first game at Madison Square Garden was hailed as the Sandy (Hurricane) ‘giveaway’ game as it was said that the Heat really didn’t want to play in the aftermath. But, this past Thursday’s nationally televised contest without their All-star player in Melo, there was no excuse. LeBron James himself said, “they simply kicked out [butts]. The Knicks won, 112-92 with a barrage of 3 point shots that were all great looks because of the team’s impeccable ball movement.
It’s early yet and at press time, the Knicks are sporting a 14-4 record (tops in the East and third overall in the NBA) for the first time since the 1993 season. The team is primed and ready and should only get better as the season goes along.
Jerald L. Hoover