The New York Knicks have given fans plenty to cheer about for the first time in many years.
The Knicks are 17-12, currently the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, and have a very good chance at making the playoffs.
If the Knicks are to make the playoffs, they have the talent on their roster contend for the NBA Finals.
The recent play of Amar'e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton will greatly contribute to the Knicks' playoff run.
Here are 10 reasons why the Knicks are legitimate NBA Finals contenders this season.
Two of the most important players on the Knicks' roster have playoff experience: Amar'e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton.
Stoudemire has had plenty of playoff experience during his time with the Phoenix Suns and that can play a key factor for the Knicks as they make their playoff push.
Felton only has one year of playoff experience with the Bobcats which came last season. Regardless of it only being one season, it is still experience.
These two guys gets the Knicks' offense going and their veteran leadership will be important down the stretch.
Now i understand this may not be a reason at the moment, but if the Knicks find a way to acquire Denver Nuggets' star Carmelo Anthony they will be serious contenders in the playoffs.
Melo is an elite player in the NBA and he would bring 24 points and eight rebounds per game to go along with the stellar play of Amar'e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton.
We have all heard the rumors of where Melo might end up and New York is one of the possibilities.
Maybe the Knicks can have a "Big Three" of their own.
Missed free throws have haunted teams so many times in the past, but that is not a problem the New York Knicks have to worry about.
The Knicks are second in the NBA shooting almost 81 percent from the line, led by Danilo Gallinari shooting 89 percent.
Missing free throws can determine the outcome of so many games but if the Knicks continue to shoot well from the line, they will win many close games.
The New York Knicks thrive on three-point shooting and when those fall the Knicks are extremely difficult to beat.
Led by Danilo Gallinari, the Knicks are averaging nine three-pointers per game, the most in the NBA.
The Knicks also have the most three-point attempts per game with 24 while shooting 36 percent from the perimeter.
The three-point shot can be a dagger at the end of basketball games and this is element that the Knicks certainly possess.
Look for this to be a key factor throughout the course of the season into the playoffs.
Both Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are having solid years for the Knicks.
Chandler is a scorer and Gallinari has killed opponents with his three-point shooting.
Chandler is averaging 17 points per game while Gallinari is averaging 15 points per game.
These guys will need to continue to play well to help out Amar'e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton.
If these two are consistent, the Knicks will be difficult to beat come playoff time.
Landry Fields was a second-round pick for the New York Knicks and has played well thus far.
It is always a plus when a rookie plays well and that is exactly what Fields has done.
Fields has been a solid rebounder for the Knicks, second on the team with 7.5 rebounds per game.
Like Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, Fields is also a key role player and his rebounding will be important for the remainder of the season.
Point guard Raymond Felton joined the Knicks in the offseason which was then a solid pickup for New York.
Felton has been a pleasant surprise so far this season as he is having his best season as a pro.
Felton is averaging 18 points and nine assists per game, both career highs.
Felton's highs prior to this season were just over 14 points and seven assists.
Becoming a Knick has sparked the former Bobcat and having Amar'e Stoudemire to pass the ball to is a great luxury to have.
Outstanding play at the point guard position will be important for the Knicks come playoff time.
Despite the Knicks 113-91 loss to the Miami Heat on December 17th, the Knicks have shown that they can play with the top teams in the league.
The Knicks have victories over the Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Hornets and, most recently, over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Knicks also only lost by two to the Celtics in an exciting finish. Just a few more tenths of a second and Amar'e Stoudemire's three-point shot would have counted.
The Knicks can play with the elite teams which is why they can contend.
Coach Mike D'Antoni is currently in his third season with the New York Knicks and things have finally seemed to head in the right direction.
In his four and a half seasons as Phoenix Suns' head coach, D'Antoni led the Suns to four playoff appearances despite failing to reach the NBA Finals.
Despite coming up short of the NBA Finals, D'Antoni has what it takes to lead the Knicks to the promise land and reuniting with Amar'e Stoudemire was the first step in the Knicks returning to the postseason.
The acquisition of Amar'e Stoudemire was one of the best signings this offseason.
Stoudemire is playing like an MVP and he's having his best offensive season since 2004-2005.
The former Sun is averaging 26 points and nine rebounds per contest.
Stoudemire's game has improved with the ability to make plays on his own without Steve Nash and the ability to knock down the mid-range jump shot.
With a play maker like Stoudemire leading the way for the Knicks, opposing teams in the Eastern Conference will have a difficult task defending them. The Knicks, who are currently second in the NBA in scoring averaging just over 108 points per game.