After three wins with a combined point differential of 58 points, the New York Knicks are at an Eastern Conference leading record of 3-0. The Knicks have shocked the basketball world so far, silencing all critiques that they could never be an elite team in the NBA. Now granted, they've only played 3 games, and there are still 78 more to go, but the Knicks are exciting NBA fans with their recent style of play, and as Magic Johnson puts it, "its the first time he's seen a Knick team pass like that in a long, long time." The Knicks can continue playing like this, and ultimately claim a name for themselves as an elite team in the NBA, but in order to do so they need to follow my three keys for their continued success.
Figure Out a Plan For Amare Stoudamire:
He's a superstar - no doubt about it, but he won't be one on this team. No matter if Stat was out, and Caremlo Anthony was alone, or Melo was out and Stoudamire was alone, the Knicks were thriving either way last season. But, when they both were healthy and playing at the same time, yes, they won games, but they did not nearly look as good as they were before they were both healthy in unison. It's not any disrespect to Amare, but they need to find a role for him. They either need to keep him in the line-up, and find a way for him to mesh with the team, without disrupting any continuity they might have 6 weeks down the road, or they have to trade him. Amare gets injured alot, there is no question there. He did, however bring New York basketball back, but its time that maybe he bring back basketball for some other city. The Knicks are playing better than any other team right now, and if they continue to play like this, I'd hate to see their chemistry be altered due to the fact that a superstar is back in the lineup.
Don't Trade Anybody - The Team Already Has All The Weapons It Needs:
Before they made the Melo trade, the Knicks were looking like a pretty good team that only was going to get better. Stacked with young talent, and anchored by Stat, this new-look Knick team was exciting fans everywhere. When they traded for Melo, they let all these guys go, including Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, and Danilo Ganillari. Sure they got Melo, but all three of those players meshed so well together in New York, and who knows how good they would have gotten together. But thats exactly it, who knows? With newcomers such as Pablo Pigioni, Rasheed Wallace, Ronnie Brewer, Jason Kidd and returning players like Steve Novak, and JR Smith, the New York Knicks have all the weapons and tools they need to become successful in this league. DO NOT TRADE ANYBODY. They can't. They can't get any better. The name of the game is chemistry with the ball, and you can do that with three stars like Miami did, or you can do it with a bunch of players all working hard and producing an excellent product on the court like the San Antonio Spurs. The Knicks are shaping up to look like that, and I pray that they continue on with this team and not make anymore moves, although the Knicks are a big market team who like to make deals.
This goes without saying, but they need to stay healthy. The Knicks have depth, but they don't have the type of depth that the substitutes can give you a solid 30+ minutes a game. The Knicks are the oldest team in NBA history, when you add up all the ages of the players on the roster. It is essential for these older guys especially to keep themselves healthy, because every single one has a role in making this team return to elite status. Even though its a lot of teams keys, staying healthy is a big one for the Knicks.
The New York Knicks will resume their undefeated season when they take on the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.