A look at the Knicks epic start to the season
[caption id="attachment_11747" align="aligncenter" width="620"]
Photo Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images[/caption]
Is this the year that NYC prevails?
The Knicks have started the season in fine form, demolishing the young but hard working Philedelphia 76ers team not once, but twice while also flexing their muscles with a 20 point win over last seasons champions, the Miami Heat.
To me it's the ball movement, having three point guards who can attack the rim but also pass freely is the key to this team. In all three wins the Knicks have averaged over 100 points but the more impressive stat is that they have held both Philadelphia and Miami to the 80's point range. The Knicks know they can score, if they can keep this defense up they are going to have more efficient scoring nights and will make it far easier on themselves.
Carmelo Anthony has continued his Olympic form and his weight loss appears to be making a big difference. He can still score at will and his court vision thus far has been one of the reasons for the teams success. JR Smith has proven to be a perfect number two option alongside Anthony.
What Still Needs Improvement:
The spacing on the floor has come leaps and bounds since last season. No longer are they loading up on single sides which is they key driver to the offensive efficiency increasing. However at the moment they really don't have the right bodies on the floor to really get the team rolling. Look for them to feature JR Smith more while they wait for Iman Shumpert to return from knee injury.
Who Do We Need To Watch?
The Amare Stoudamire experiment has failed and I expect the Knicks will pull the pin on him this season. Early season rumours have them trading him to Brooklyn for Kris Humpheries and Mirza Teletovic.
The Knicks have shown they are a better team when he is off the floor, he wants to be the star he once was but his body has not been co operating with him. It takes a bigger man to realise your game needs to change and he isn't there yet. If they can get anyone to take on his horrendous contract they have to do it.
Who Is Up Next?
Next up is Dallas, Orlando and San Antonio. While on paper it looks like two easy beats both the mavericks and magic have been surprisingly good so far with their remodeled rosters.
I expect the Knicks will beat Dallas and Orlando but lose in a close one to San Antonio. The Knicks are relying a lot on the three point shooting at the moment, the Spurs will punish them in transition if they aren't hitting from deep.
Are the Knicks the surprise team for you so far? Keen to hear your comments below.