The New York Knicks had their best season in over a decade in 2011-12, according to both their .545 winning percentage and playoff “success” (singular).
Cynicism aside, last year was an exciting, roller-coaster season in New York that finished on a relative upswing after beginning on a downer and weathering a fair share of mid-season drama.
The Knicks started 8-15, then finished 18-6. They enjoyed a seven-game winning streak, but suffered two six-game losing streaks.
They had no point guard, then they had the Jeremy Lin explosion, then they had no point guard again.
Along the way, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire missed a combined 30 games (almost half the shortened season), the Knicks had two head coaches, and New York won its first playoff game since 2001.
They were quickly booted from Round 1, anyway.
But for all the ups and downs, and the Anthony/Stoudemire meshing concerns, there was general overall improvement for this team over 2010-11’s version.
More specifically, one can hone in on defense, for example, as one of the Knicks’ big upgrades.
You can include Mike Woodson’s more successful offense, too. And how about Steve Novak, and Raymond Felton running the point?
All good, but the Knicks are capable of improvement in all these areas, and others too.
But all on one very important condition, one I am sure you are thinking about.
We'll take a look at this caveat at the conclusion.