New York Knicks: 5 Steps to Becoming Championship Contenders in 2011-12

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New York Knicks: 5 Steps to Becoming Championship Contenders in 2011-12
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The New York Knicks are coming off of their first winning season since 2000-01, and fans were nothing short of ecstatic as the team clinched its first playoff berth since 2003-04 season.

Despite this, the Knicks failed to take even a single game from the experienced Celtics, let alone win the series.

As the team moves forward without Donnie Walsh—the GM who put this roster together—there are several things that James Dolan needs to make sure his franchise does to ensure that they can compete with the best teams next season.

New York fans have been aching for their Knicks to return to glory for the past decade, and if ownership isn't careful, the team may have to continue settling for being a second-rate franchise.

The Knicks have crushed their fans' souls since their last title in 1973. Since then, the Knicks have seen the eras of Bernard King and Patrick Ewing end in heartbreak. Neither superstar was paired with another dominant force like they've been able to do now.

With the new combination of Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, two of the most talented players in the league, it seems as though there is a solid foundation for a bright future.

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