Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
The Knicks have a legit shot to take the Eastern Conference.
We know the Knicks are clearly playoff contenders. They'll likely finish with a high seed, and with any luck, make it out of the first round for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. After that, it'll most likely be the Big Three-led Miami Heat in the way of an NBA Finals appearance.
New York has proved that it can handle Miami in the regular season. The Heat haven't stood a chance against the Knicks in either matchup this season—both 20-point blowouts, one sans Carmelo Anthony. But, as we all are reminded each spring, the postseason is an entirely different animal.
This is where the Knicks' battle-tested veterans will prove to be difference-makers. New York's most fatal flaw last year was its lack of experience in big moments, and that's something GM Glen Grunwald and head coach Mike Woodson did an excellent job at nipping in the bud heading into this season.
NBA champions Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace and Tyson Chandler will undoubtedly take control of the situation this May, as will 40-year-old Kurt Thomas and 35-year-old floor general Pablo Prigioni.
Carmelo Anthony may just play a part in this whole thing, too.
Finally, the question for New York isn't if it's good enough. We've seen through the season's first half that it has the talent to be the class of the Eastern Conference. Now, it's a matter of if the Knicks have the makeup of champions. That's what they've been trying to assemble since October, and that's what will earn them a chance at a ring in 2012-13.
Once the Knicks convince the reigning champions that they're ready to win it all, they'll have the stage set for a ring ceremony of their own.