When the New York Knicks loss to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, they showed us what they're really made of.
Over the last couple of years, the Knicks organization and their fans have been humiliated by what has become an embarrassment to the city of New York.
Under Isiah Thomas, the Knicks franchise was shameful, suffering their worst season in team history. By the time Thomas took over as head coach last season, his reputation was shattered.
Fortunately for Knicks fans, the organization has made a change for the better.
Bringing in Mike D’antoni and Donnie Walsh has changed the culture of this team and has brought about a new sense of pride to this Knicks team.
The first sign of courage we witnessed out of this Knicks team was during their 110-101 loss to the Celtics on Tuesday night.
Although they lost to the Celtics, the Knicks revealed their new character.
By starting the season off with a 6-3 record, they displayed that they are a team capable of winning some games in the upcoming season. But, what they also showed in their last two losses to the Dallas Mavericks and the Celtics is that they could compete with the class of the NBA.
This past Sunday, the Knicks were one shot away from beating a strong Mavericks team led by the likes of Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd. Unfortunately for the Knicks, a miscue on Mike D’antoni’s part, late in the game cost them a possible victory.
On Tuesday, the Knicks played the defending champion Celtics tough, but came up just short of pulling out a victory at the Boston Garden.
After getting embarrassed last season in Boston, Knicks fans expected another big loss. Although the Celtics did come into the game without Kevin Garnett, they were the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks played the Celtics close and the depth of this team was made clear by this loss.
Several players showed their ability in Tuesday’s loss to the Celtics.
Wilson Chandler, a first round pick of the Knicks last season, who many regarded as a bad selection has taken his game up a notch, earning a starting job with D’antoni’s Knicks.
Chandler put up a career-high 27 points against the C's which kept the game within reach. Chandler has averaged around 15 points and 5.5 rebounds this season as a Knick, and has become a serious scoring threat under their new coach.
D’antoni has implemented Chandler in several roles this season and his athletic ability has helped him fit D’antoni’s system.
Another player who has played very well for the Knicks has been Zach Randolph.
Randolph scored 18 points and had eight rebounds in Tuesday's game. After a bad season under Isiah Thomas, Randolph has become a scorer under D’antoni and has had similar production to his days in Portland.
Randolph averages 20.5 points and 12.5 rebounds so far this season and has become the scoring forward the Knicks hoped he would be. Randolph has shown a touch from the outside as well and is a definite scoring threat.
The revamped Knicks squad have matured under Mike D’antoni and the good results early in the season should encourage Knicks fans.
For the first time since the Lenny Wilkins era in New York, the Knicks have reached a mark of two games over .500.
While there are many strong teams in the Eastern Conference this season, the Knicks are going to be able to compete for a playoff spot. They are in the second-tier of teams behind the Celtics, Cavaliers, Hawks and Pistons.
Although it is very early to make predictions, it looks like the Knicks will be in the running for a playoff spot this season. Mike D’antoni’s style has fit this Knicks team perfectly and the improved play of several players has led them to a good start this season.
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