It's impossible to fathom that with all the media buzz over the last 48 hours regarding All-Star Carmelo Anthony's latest move to the New York Knicks, he has not even played his first game as a Knickerbocker. All of the wheeling, dealing, glam and glitz over the past several days has taken the spotlight away from the fact that this guy is actually here to win basketball games. Well, the wait is over New York, time to get down to business.
Anthony will suit up against the Milwaukee Bucks tonight in front of what is most definitely going to be a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden. Speculation alone drove ticket prices for Wednesday's matchup with Milwaukee through the roof, with the cheapest ticket on Stub Hub going for around a mere $250.00. Now just imagine if we could get Melo on the Dow Jones?
Coming off the All-Star Break, the Knicks are an improved yet elementary 28-26. The addition of Amar'e Stoudemire in the offseason has catapulted New York back to the .500 mark, and they're hoping that the addition of Anthony will now be enough to push them over that hump and produce consistent wins.
Their first test will be against a Bucks team coming in at lowly 22-34 but with the upper hand against the Knicks, defeating New York in their last four meetings and not having lost at Madison Square Garden since November 30, 2007.
While all eyes will be on Carmelo and his immersion into the team, the Knicks need to be cognizant of the fact that while they look poised to make a playoff run for the first time since 2004, if the season ended today, they'd only be able to secure a No. 6 seed, more than likely pitting them up against one of the Eastern Conference's finest offerings.
While their seeding may not change all that much over the course of the last few months of the season, the Knicks need to develop a winning attitude now that they've added Anthony's star power. No longer will the notion that just making the playoffs for the first time since 2004 be enough to satisfy the hordes of Knicks fans currently dusting off their old John Starks jerseys after a decade of drought.
The time has come for Carmelo to shine under the bright lights but just how fast can he and the Knicks get into a winning rhythm?