There is legitimacy in New York basketball again. I can’t even hide the thesis. I am just so excited for this season. It has been almost a decade since New York fans can be excited about their New York Knickerbockers. The media is buying into this team and people actually care. It’s only been a week and a half into the season and the change is so immense.
I wish basketball cities like Boston, Chicago, LA, and the entire state of Texas could see what a difference has been made. I understand people question Donnie Walsh’s moves and draft picks, but for the first time in years, there is harmony in the basketball capital of the world. Isiah Thomas is gone, even though Jimmy effin Dolan is trying to bring him back (I will get to this later), but his reign and terrible collaboration of players is over.
This past Thursday was the first time the Knicks have been on TNT since November 29, 2007 where they were embarrassed in Boston by a score of 104-59, but the Knicks shot the lights out to beat a good Chicago team in enemy territory. Let’s look at this further though.
Under IT’s (Isiah Thomas) control, here is the starting lineup on that horrible TNT night:
Quite the team of winners…
Here is the starting lineup, Donnie Walsh set up this past Thursday:
Now, I understand the argument that these guys haven’t been tested and proven yet, and everyone is absolutely right, but no one can dispute the difference of the lineup setup, attitude, and perspective of this team is. Amare loves the spotlight, I couldn’t stand this signing went it first happened. How could I? A 6′ 10” Power Forward who could only dunk and play little to no defense. A guy who played with arguably the best point guard in the league for his entire career. There was little to like about it. However, he has embraced it, making New York his home and loving every second of it. The people here live on that , that’s why we loved Ewing, Starks, and Oakley They loved playing in the greatest sports arena in the world. They fed off of it. Amare is no different. You can feel it, even watching through the television, and I have not felt this since I was in high school. It’s a superb feeling.
Raymond Felton looks to be in shape and ready to lead New York on a game-to-game basis. Galinari, Fields, and Mozgov illustrate the potential to be great support players and developing into trustworthy teammates. Toney Douglas is a real threat coming of the bench. Anthony Randolph will impact the boards and defense once he is healthy. The team is set to improve in all of the right areas and Mike D’Antoni has finally something to work with. The pieces are set and then… Jimmy Dolan wants to bring back Isiah Thomas.
Let’s place the positives for this…there are none. Dolan is a respected owner and loves to keep his word. He didn’t want to fire IT before, he had to or New York would have burned down MSG out of disgust. Dolan likes IT, in fact, he loves him. He honestly believes he is the right man for the job. 5 million people think otherwise, but that’s not stopping him from considering bringing the destruction of Knickerbocker basketball back to the President of Operations. It breaks my heart, but according to Isiah in an interview conducted by Michael Kay of ESPN Radio, he does not want to come back. Thank God. I am starting to enjoy watching MSG again.
Only time will tell though…