Wednesday, January 09, 2013

N.Y. Knicks: For Those Who Said Talk To Me In January

From the desk of:   DUTCH PANTS CAN'T JUMP

NEW YORK KNICKS - Many Said Age And Injury Would Start Taking Its Toll In January And February.  The Team Is Certainly Not Without Issues.

Knicks Needs Ray Felton Back On The Floor.
...And Honey Nut Cheerios Too.

I can't fault Melo for continuing to go after Kevin Garnett.  What KG does, he does supremely well.  He talks vicious smack.  But we've known that for a long time.  And I get it.  That gets players even more mad.  Especially when the dude starts poppin' off about your wife and honey nut Cheerios in the same sentence.  How rich!  That was unnecessary on KG's part.  But as a highly paid professional athlete, you have to learn to ignore guys like Garnett and the Dennis Rodmans in life and stay within the game.  Riiight.  But yeah, on a more primitive level, a trip to the bus after the game might have been warranted.  That's so 1970's of me.  I know.  So now if you're Melo, you shut up and take your one game suspension like a man.  Too bad however, Melo didn't make the trip to the parking lot truly worth the effort.  You know what I mean.  If you're going to get punished, might as well go all the way.  What happened to the Carmelo Anthony we all knew and loathed in 2006; the punk who threw a cheap punch at Mardy Collins, then ran away?  He should have given KG some of that.

Grab yourself some Hatorade.  There's plenty.

With a 23-11 record, the Knicks are tied with the Heat for most wins in the Eastern Conference. Indeed, the Knicks enjoyed a stellar start to the season, raining three pointers upon opponents and playing surprisingly good defense.  But staunch pragmatists decided to hold off till January before assessing the team.  And well, here we are.  The Knicks are in first place of the Atlantic Division.

Happy New Year.

While earlier in the schedule the Knicks were playing like the team many thought they could be, they are now slowly morphing into the team many feared they might be.  Problem one?  Life has been a struggle without Ray Felton.  That's just my take.  Pablo Prigioni is nice off the bench.  But I don't think the Knicks want him getting extended minutes.  The longer Felton is out, the more minutes Jason Kidd must play.  The more he plays, the sooner he burns out heading into March and April.  That's the traditional thinking.  The Knicks also probably do not want to potentially head into the playoffs with Ronnie Brewer at the two and Kidd at point.  Do they?  I think Felton is more important to this team than he gets credit for.

Regardless of how I started this posting, I have nothing but good things to say about Carmelo Anthony this season.  He, Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith have been stellar.  The return of Iman Shumpert will add a lot of youthful spring to the Knicks legs too.  These four lend much to be optimistic about.

The same can't be said of Amare Stoudemire.  The doctor is ordering his minutes get cut back.  He will remain a compromised player for the foreseeable future.  Then consider the limited contributions of Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas, and it is easy to deduce the Knicks have major depth and size issues moving forward.

The age factor and injuries many thought could hamper the Knicks the deeper the season went, are indeed starting to hinder the Knicks as the New Year settles in.  The next seven weeks of Winter will reveal much about this team.  For now, I think Knick fans have to be happy with their season so far.  But the real fun, or pain, lies ahead.


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