With a new-look team and an old-school coach in Mike Woodson, the New York Knicks are primed to make a run for the playoffs.
The only difference this time around is that, unlike the past two seasons, the team is in a position to actually compete and not just run out of gas and die in the first round. Yet, as the Philadelphia 76ers showed everyone last season, nothing is guaranteed in the playoffs and just one game can set the tone for a series.
That said, the Knicks still have some work to do before they become a playoff powerhouse a la the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. After years of relying on high-octane scoring to bring home the win, New York is now moving back to a hard-nosed defensive approach that defined the teams of the '90s and led to almost automatic playoff appearances.
Seeing as how team stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire are used to playing in systems that let them do their own thing and not really change up their game, such a change will be challenging from the get go.
Of course, Stoudemire and Anthony's collective performance is just the tip of the iceberg. In terms of being a successful playoff team, the Knicks need to do just more than keep their stars in check.