New York Knicks: What We Learned from the First Quarter of the Season
The first quarter of the New York Knicks' season has been one of the most memorable starts in Knicks franchise history. The team holds the best record in the Eastern Conference (16-5) and they have had some convincing wins along the way.
Head coach Mike Woodson seems to be the answer in New York, and the team has been playing well without their superstar, Amar'e Stoudemire.
It will be interesting to see if the Knicks can keep this pace for the remainder of the season, considering that they are the NBA's oldest team ever.
Here is what we have learned about the Knicks, as we conclude the first quarter of the NBA season.
They Can Shoot from Long Distance with the Best of Them
The key to the Knicks' season thus far has been their ability to shoot from behind the arc. The team is shooting 40.6 percent from long-distance, which is good for the third best mark in the league.
Steve Novak, Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd are all shooting over 40 percent from long distance, while Kidd leads the pack after hitting 52.8 percent of his attempts so far this season.
The Bench Is One of the NBA's Best
The New York Knicks bench has been phenomenal over the first quarter of the season.
J.R. Smith is averaging 13.8 of the bench, and Steve Novak is raking in close to nine points a game. The bench also provides a spark on defense when Pablo Prigioni enters the game, and the Knicks have to be pleased with how Rasheed Wallace and Ronnie Brewer have been playing.
The Knicks will go far in the playoffs if their bench can keep this up, because it will allow them to match up with any team regardless of what players are on the floor for their opponent.
The Newly Acquired Veteran Leadership Has Paid off
The Knicks may be the NBA's oldest team, but they are certainly not playing like it.
Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace and Raymond Felton have revitalized this team and fan base to a point that not many people expected. Jason Kidd has made clutch shot after clutch shot, while Raymond Felton is playing like and NBA All Star.
The Knicks have been excellent on defense since Mike Woodson took over last season, and these veterans are a big reason why.
The Team Is a Legitimate Title Contender
After convincing victories against the Miami Heat, and with their current record placing them atop the Eastern Conference, it is safe to say that the Knicks are legitimate contenders.
Their ability to shoot and play above-average defense will keep them in games all season long, and having Carmelo Anthony on their side doesn't hurt either.
Amar'e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert are set to return to the team within the next month, which will only strengthen the team's bench moving forward. This team is solid from top to bottom, and I certainly expect them to contend for an NBA Championship.