We're entering 2013, and New York is sitting pretty atop the Atlantic Division—even after a handful of injuries to key players.
Because of this, the Knicks shouldn't look to trade away any of the assets that are a part of this team.
The team is finally working together like a well-oiled machine, and to disrupt this new-found chemistry would be detrimental to the franchise's championship aspirations.
The Knickerbockers are 20-8 as of December 25, and they're averaging 102.6 points per game—the fifth-most in the league.
They're also playing incredible defense, the best defense I've seen from a New York team in over a decade.
While New York's opponents are averaging 96.5 points per game, it's a big decline since Mike D'Antoni's last full season with the Knicks, where his team allowed 105.7 points a game.
Raymond Felton is manning the point guard like he never left New York, Jason Kidd is filling in at the 2-guard. Ronnie Brewer is holding down the small forward spot and locking up the opposition on defense. Carmelo Anthony is having an MVP-caliber season, and Tyson Chandler hasn't lost his defensive tenacity from last year.
The starting rotation seems to be great, and they'll only get better upon Iman Shumpert's arrival.
However, this all didn't develop overnight.
These pieces were brought over to New York for particular jobs, and everyone on this team knows their specific task.
Jason Kidd was brought in to be a veteran backup.
Rasheed Wallace came over to New York to extend an already intimidating front court.
Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas were two bigs that could still play in limited minutes while providing six hard fouls.
It's also worth noting that J.R. Smith has improved on both sides of the ball—he's passing more and playing solid defense—and Steve Novak is starting to look like his old self from behind the arc.
Chemistry is developed with time, and the full offseason together benefited New York's cohesion, and it's safe to say that it probably benefited Amar'e Stoudemire as well.
He had the offseason to develop more aspects to his game while also working with his teammates.
Everyone is quick to say that we must trade Amar'e, but the power forward still has some good basketball left in him, and if he's willing to accept the bench role, then he'll certainly be an asset in the Knicks' chase for a title.
If you disagree with me on this, then maybe the Sports Illustrated article from Rob Mahoney explaining how management tried to unload Stoudemire's contract will make you buy into my theory.
He's not as bad a player as everyone thinks, and having two high scorers in two separate rotations would only increase New York's chances of playing basketball further into April.
New York has a roster composed of two stars, a handful of veterans with championship experience, role players and depth.
No need to disrupt the chemistry to start all over again—we saw just how difficult that could be back in February of 2011.
All statistics are accurate as of December 25.
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