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Knicks Open New Arena in Grand Style
Bargs booed at first comes on late to contribute in the win
NEW YORK – The New York Knicks have opened their brand new, refurbished arena in grand style with a 90-83 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. The new place (Madison Square Garden) in Mid-town Manhattan can be ascribed as the Miracle on 34th Street if the Knicks are able to follow in the New York Yankees blueprint of winning a World Series in their first year of their new stadium.
There are different players from last year’s squad that finished with an astounding 54 wins (despite injuries and suspensions) and second seed in the East. This is after being predicted by the so-called experts to finish in the 5th spot. The second round loss in six games to the Indiana Pacers has left a stain in some, but the fact that the Knicks finally won an Atlantic Division crown and advanced past the first round of the Playoffs in over a decade is cause for some type of mode of satisfaction.
There are a new set of pressures facing the Knicks this year. Despite, owner James Dolan voicing that he expected the Knicks to win a title this year, there’s a fact that superstar forward, Carmelo Anthony can opt out of his contract in February.
Jason Kidd retired and shuttled over to Brooklyn to become head coach and with their revamped roster of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry and Andre Kirilenko and Alan Anderson are predicted to overtake Knicks for division supremacy. Not to mention the former Boston Three in Brooklyn ready and willing to stir the pot.
The fact that Derrick Rose is back with the Bulls and Danny Granger is returning (right now, he’s out 3 weeks with a calf strain) to an already revamped bench and formidable lineup doesn’t make things any easier.
The Knicks however are younger than last year’s squad with not only 41 year old Kidd gone, but Rasheed Wallace and 40 year old, Kurt Thomas retired. Oft injured Marcus Camby was traded in the Andrea Bargnani deal.
Along with Bargnani joining the fold, the Knicks were able to bring in hometown kid, Metta World Pierce and point guard, Beno Udrih on the cheap. The Knicks may have also struck gold with the drafting of Tim Hardaway, Jr with the 24th pick in the 2013 Draft. He is the son of former Knicks antagonist, Tim Hardaway of the Miami Heat.
The Knicks were at one point in the game up by 25 points. But as it seeming to be a custom with most teams, blew the lead and were down by a point late in the 4th quarter. Sloppy play attributed to the demise as the Knicks committed 22 turnovers. Coach Mike Woodson admitted, “that has to be the most turnovers a Knicks team committed in one gay since I’ve been here.
Bargnani who was booed by some in the arena in the first half came on strong in the 3rd quarter with 9 points on deft shooting. Woodson is looking for big things from Bargnani this year but knows he has to be patient with him.
KNICK KNOTES: Knicks improve to 41-27 overall on season openers and 36-32 overall in home openers. That stat includes 4 straight wins. Knicks can take heart in the low score by the Bucks, as last season they were 26-2 when opponents scored under 90 points. The stars were out and about at MSG with: Howard Stern, JB Smoove, Paul Rudd, Michael Buffer, who introduced 2 fighters set to square off at the Garden on November 2; Curtis Stevens and Gennady Golovkin. New York Ranger, Chris Krieder was also in the building.
Jerald L. Hoover