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They may have began the season as a nice story and a team looking to improve from the past decade, but the New York Knicks are a top-five team in the East and it has to do with the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony.
So far in seven games with the Knicks, Anthony has done a good job, but there's more to it than that. After they traded away their entire starting lineup other than Landry Fields, most people laughed at the bench they would have.
It may not be too deep, but it isn't too bad either. Guys like Anthony Carter and Shawne Williams have stepped up, and the Knicks—believe it or not—are starting to play some defense.
In each of their last three wins, they've held opponents to 88 points or less. In their win on Sunday night in Atlanta, they only allowed 79 points.
They have been embarrassed twice by the Cavaliers, but the Lakers and Celtics have lost to them too.
The Knicks are proving they can beat top teams and on the road. They beat the Heat in Miami last week and now won in Atlanta.
They're 4-3 since getting Carmelo and that isn't bad. The Heat, who had training camp together, weren't a whole lot better to start the season when they went 9-8.
Can the Knicks make the NBA Finals? Not this season or next season. They don't have the size to match up with the Celtics or Magic, but can they win a first-round series? Sure.
They're at least in the conversation, something they haven't been in for a long time.