The New York Knicks have started the 2012-13 NBA season at 18-6, which is good enough for first in the Eastern Conference. After New York ended a tumultuous 2011-12 season with the seventh seed in the East, this comes as a bit of a surprise.
When a team outperforms expectations like that, there is obviously improvement in specific players as well as in the system. Players can be better utilized than expected or simply improve in certain departments during the offseason.
Of course, the NBA is also a league of streaks and momentum, so there will always be players not quite living up to expectations either. This season, New York has experienced both of these scenarios.