For the New York Knicks in 2012-13, it is finally time.
Time to bring basketball supremacy back to New York City, time to erase more than a decade’s worth of frustration, time to show the rest of the world that the Knicks are back.
It has taken a multitude of years to assemble this team, but it has happened. The pieces are all here.
They have their own big three of Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Carmelo Anthony. They have a point guard who has proven himself as a Knick before in Raymond Felton, one of the league’s best young players in Iman Shumpert, the right head coach in Mike Woodson, and a very deep, talented, and experienced bench.
Everything is in place, and now it’s just time to perform.
This is not a team that has a LeBron James that can just carry them to success—it’s going to have to be a full team effort for 82 games. Anthony will without a doubt be the main man on the squad, but he’s no LeBron.
This time around, there will be no excuses—no shortened season and shortened training camp excuse, no “we just need consistency around here” excuse, no nothing.
No, this year there will be a full training camp for Anthony and Stoudemire to learn how to play together, and it shouldn’t be too hard, since it’s “just basketball”, right Carmelo?
This year there will be an 82-game season over a course of five-and-a-half months, and hopefully the team will suffer minimal injuries, starting with when Shumpert returns from injury.
This is a team that has only improved since going 18-6 under Mike Woodson to finish last season, good for best in the Eastern Conference during that stretch.
That was certainly no fluke, as this team got to playing a very different style of basketball under Woodson than they did under D’Antoni, a style that fit Anthony much better.
New York also gave up just 91.5 points per game under Woodson, a number that would have been good for fourth in the league had it been their average the entire season.
Of course, all of these stats from under Woodson last season will mean nothing if the Knicks can’t play the same way over an 82-game season this year.
So, with all of this being said, it’s time to put up or shut up for the New York Knicks. It’s time to prove that they are the best team in the Atlantic and can compete for an Eastern Conference title.
It's time to no longer be content with anything short of a championship, because the last thing I ever want to see again is confetti falling in Madison Square Garden after an almost meaningless Game 4 win over the Miami Heat, as if the NBA Championship had just been won. That's just pathetic.
I, for one, think that, while the Knicks will win the Atlantic division, they are still far, far behind the Heat.
But, my challenge to the New York Knicks is this: Prove me wrong, prove everyone wrong who doubts you in any way. Go get it done, and bring the Larry O’Brien trophy back to the Big Apple.