CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Knicks Big 3 Finally Coming Up Big
But is it too little too late?
NEW YORK – First came Amare Stoudemire from the Phoenix Suns as a free agent. Then came Carmelo Anthony in a blockbuster midseason trade involving the Denver Nuggets. And following Melo, arrived Tyson Chandler (courtesy of Knicks amnestying Chauncey Billips) fresh off his winning the 2011 NBA Championship with the Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas Mavericks. That was supposed to be the making of the New York Knick’s version of a Big Three.
But a funny or not so funny thing happened along the twisting and winding NBA road to success; injuries. Yes, the injury bug hit all three of the players at one time or another. That was one of the main reasons why LinSanity was born. The Knicks couldn’t find continuity under then coach Mike D’Antoni who wanted to play a lot speedball and pick and roll offense which catered more to Jeremy Lin and not to his star, Melo.
That was the not too distant past. The Big 3 now with Amare being inserted into the starting lineup, Tyson back from a personal situation with his family and Melo playing at an extremely high level are clicking now like never before. The Knicks at press time are rolling with an 8 game winning streak. They blistered the Indiana Pacers for their Lucky 7 and they went to Philadelphia and extended the Sixers’ losing streak to 23 games and laid them straight.
One wonders aloud where has this team been all year? Many observers would swear that the Phil Jackson rumors of his joining the team in a front office capacity had plenty to do with the renewed focus of the team in general. There has to be some validity to it, because after all whether this team makes it to the playoffs or not, there will be changes.
These players realize that they’re playing for jobs. The coaching staff realizes this also. This is what happens when there are changes at the top of the food chain. And with Phil coming on board and although he hasn’t had any prior experience in running a team, he’s no rookie when it comes to personnel and seeing how parts work within a system, culture and philosophy.
The team to a man also are happy for Amare as Melo is one of the first to point out about how hard Amare has worked to get and remain healthy. He also pointed out how frustrating he knows it was for him. But as they say, ‘hard work usually pays off.’
The box score fill ups with the Big 3 of the knicks look like serious contender quality. Tyson is outrebounding Melo, which is a good thing. And Amare is averaging almost 20 points per game during a major part of this current winning streak. And Melo is still a beast as a pristine scorer. But will all this feel good stuff coming out of Knicks camp, is it a bit too late to capitalize on this year?
Jerald L. Hoover