By Professor Fred Whitted NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — The title above...
Knicks Sit Pretty At Game 20
With 15-5 Record, Knicks Are Tops in East
NEW YORK,NY (BASN) – The NBA season is at about the quarter mark with 20 or so games played by most if not all NBA teams; and the Knicks are one of the League’s great surprises. This team wasn’t supposed to be this good. They’re said to be old. They said that Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire couldn’t play together. And although, Stoudemire hasn’t played at all this season, people seem to forget that when Coach Mike Woodson first took over the team after the departure of Mike D’Antoni, the team blazed to an 8-1 start before Jeremy Lin got hurt and there was no healthy point guard to run the show.
Both, Melo and Stoudemire got off plenty in the way of points and rebounds to lead the Knicks. Their overall defense picked up as well. It is true that Stoudemire isn’t a great or even an average defender. But, he hasn’t had great coaching in that area either. Yes, Amar’e Stoudemire the 10 year veteran out of Cypress Creek in Orlando, Florida was never really schooled on the art of playing defense. With him coming up in the Phoenix Suns organization and out in the run and gun Western Conference, defense was never really at a premium. Never was him learning a post up game as evident of his being tutored by Hall-of-Famer, Hakeem Olajuwon down in Houston, Texas this summer.
The Knicks under Woodson play a tailored made style of basketball for this team. They still run pretty much a good portion of the D’Antoni offense with a lot of pick and rolls and three-point shooting. But, their defense and already Playoff type in nature. Not to mention the fact that the Knicks are at the top in taking care of the ball and lead the NBA in fewest turnovers per game at 11.7.
With the influx of grizzled veterans on the team, the overall IQ from all facets has skyrocketed. These guys know how to play the game. JR Smith who is known to be a bit erratic and sporadic has grown immensely. Smith can have a bad shooting night but still manage to have an impact on the game with rebounding and assisting.
It’s still early, but this team is fun to watch and as they continue to grow and get healthier with the return of Stoudemire and defensive stud and second year man, Iman Shumpert soon; the sky could be the limit.
Knicks defeated the Denver Nuggets, 112-106. Knick are now 19-1 in the regular season under Woodson. Melo avenged last year’s loss to his former team at the Garden with 34 points and 6 rebounds. Knicks are still the only undefeated team, 8-0 at home. Team is 12-2 when it makes 10 or more threes this season.
Jerald L. Hoover