Take a deep breath, Knick fans.
You should already be over the playoff sweep to the Celtics and looking forward to the upcoming season.
You have two superstars on your roster in Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
In Anthony, the Knicks have a pure scorer who has strong ties to the city. He has pressure on him to succeed, more so than in Denver. That's a good thing for Anthony, and he knows it.
In Stoudemire, the Knicks have a big man with a huge heart, and that's hard to come by. Stoudemire played in pain with New York down 3-0 in the series, and everyone knowing that no matter what happened in Game Four, the Celtics were going to take the series. That type of attitude goes far with Knicks' fans.
But the best reason to have these two guys on your squad: they want to be here.
Unlike LeBron James or the other free agents that spurned the Knicks this past summer, these two would love to hang a championship rafter in Madison Square Garden.
As far as superstar talent goes, Anthony and Stoudemire don't have inflated egos and are driven by title-hopes more than anything else.
Both players have never gone to the NBA Finals, and both are desperate to win rings. Anthony is 26 years old, and Stoudemire is 28 - that means they're in their prime, and with 17 years of combined experience between them, the NBA is no longer a learning process for the duo.
The other parts of the team will come together, as well. The Knicks' bench needs a major boost. And aside from Stoudemire, the Knicks lack a quality big man.
The Knicks have room to bring players in, and have a much-needed blue-collar starter in Landry Fields. Players like Fields fit well with stars like Anthony and Stoudemire, and they will be available in the off-season.
There won't be a star player to come to the Knicks via free agency, but there will be some players who can be key contributing pieces. They include: Marc Gasol, Nene, Carl Landry, Andrei Kirilenko, J.R. Smith, Samuel Dalembert, and Ronnie Price.
Adding one or two of the above names may strengthen the roster enough to make the Knicks the favorites in the Atlantic Division.
The big question mark this off-season will be Chauncey Billups. The veteran point guard showed that he still has it, even though he was sidelined for three of the four playoff games. Billups is smart, a great free-throw shooter, and can still score and defend.
But at age 34, should the Knicks pick up his $14 million contract option for next season?
Then there's Donnie Walsh. He's been a good general manager, but not a great one. However, after the disasters of Scott Layden and Isiah Thomas, the Knicks are not in the position to lose a good general manager, or disregard the positive accomplishments of Walsh.
At 70 years old and facing some health issues, it is up to Walsh to decide whether he wants to come back. The best situation for the Knicks would be for Walsh to stick around for the NBA Draft and the off-season free agent market, and then exit at the start of the preseason.
The Knicks would need to find a successor, though. They should find a young and experienced head of basketball operations such as Spurs' assistant general manager Dennis Lindsey. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns pursued Lindsey but came up short, and it's possible he sees New York as his ideal destination.
In Mike D'Antoni the Knicks have a coach who knows he's on the hot seat. Another first round exit will mean he's out, and there will be a long line of suitors to coach a Knicks teams with two superstars. Expect D'Antoni to be at his coaching best with his job on the line.
Basically, things are in line for the Knicks to have a big season in 2011-2012.
The sky's the limit, man, Anthony said. We're gonna make it work.
When October rolls around, a projected 60-win season might be in the cards if Walsh can sign a coveted free agent, come up with a good player with the 17th pick in the upcoming June NBA Draft, and pull off a quality trade or two.
There's a feeling of optimism in New York about the Knicks, and it's justified.