The Knicks are finally meshing again after a lackluster January. Last Saturday’s crushing victory against the Sacramento Kings was an enormous relief for Knicks fans, as their Knickerbockers dominated without needing more than nine points from Carmelo Anthony.
Last year’s New York Knicks entered the playoffs as the No. 7 seed with a few solid, yet injury-plagued starters, and a depleted bench.
This year, the Knicks are battling it out with the Miami Heat for the No. 1 seed, and their well-balanced roster has not looked this good since the Patrick Ewing era.
Here are five reasons why the New York Knicks will win the NBA championship this year.
The forward is a bona fide NBA star, but he has yet to make an impact in the playoffs.
In fact, according to USA Today, his playoff record is the worst in NBA history.
However, after setting a team record for most consecutive games with 20-plus points, Melo has shown that he is ready to lead. He is having an MVP season, averaging 28.5 points per game and shooting 40 percent from three-point range.
Come playoff time, be ready for Bernard King-esque performances from Carmelo.
If there is one lesson to take away from Saturday’s game against the Kings, it’s that once the Knicks start making three-pointers, you can’t keep up with them.
New York leads the league in three-point field goals per game with 11.2 and they’re second in the league in three-point percentage with 38.5.
With two of the league’s best three-point shooters in Steve Novak and J.R. Smith, the Knicks are able to defeat anyone by taking advantage of their outside shooting.
When Amar’e Stoudemire was signed by the Knicks in 2010, he was their go-to-guy and strung together an incredible number of 30-point games. Two and a half seasons later, Stoudemire is coming off the bench and averaging 22 minutes per game.
Most superstars would cry foul and run to the media, but not Stoudemire. In a season that has been defined by the turmoil in the Lakers’ inner circle, Stoudemire ‘s selfless style is an example to follow.
The power forward is averaging 18 points in 24 minutes during his last five games. His new role allows the Knicks to thrive, while simultaneously keeping Stoudemire healthy until the playoffs.
I mentioned earlier that the Knicks have not won a championship in 40 years, however their roster is full of championship experience.
Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler won a title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 and know the recipe to beat the Miami Heat. Even Rasheed Wallace has a title.
This New York Knicks team is one of the oldest in NBA history, but that doesn’t appear to be a hindrance. Quite the opposite in fact—the Knicks have surprised everyone this year with their ball movement, which has been facilitated by Kidd and Raymond Felton, the team’s other veteran guard.
When a playoff game comes down to the wire, you want veteran players on your side—the Knicks have plenty of them.
If there is one reason why the old and injury-plagued Knicks are thriving, it’s the play of their bench. The Knicks have such a solid roster—no player has to play 40 minutes every night.
However, limiting the playing time for the starters would be a disaster unless the bench players were contributing. Fortunately for the Knicks, they are.
I’ve already covered Stoudemire and Smith, who could be decent starters—as bench players, they are invaluable.
Additionally, Steve Novak, Ronnie Brewer and Pablo Prigioni are all given a solid 20 minutes of playing time per game. Prigioni’s passing is a thrill to watch and Novak’s specialty has already been covered.
In fact, even Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby, who were born in the Nixon presidency, have done their part this season. Thomas’ PER is a strong 14.7, while Camby’s is 10.6, which is still acceptable for a 38-year-old.
With this kind of roster, who can stop the Knickerbockers?