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New York Knicks: Suddenly favorites? Possibly

Posted By Michael Burke On Feb 19 2012 @ 4:38 pm In New York Knicks | No Comments

For a guy who had won seven of eight games with a team that previously sat at 8-15, Jeremy Lin certainly had his critics; they said he had not beaten a good team, he turned the ball over too much, he was just a fluke, etc.

With today’s victory over the Dallas Mavericks, Jeremy Lin put all of these ideas to rest.

The sudden phenom had 28 points on 11 of 20 shooting, dished out a season high 14 assists, and, most importantly, led the Knicks to an impressive win over the defending champions.

It was a total team effort for the Knicks; six different players scored in double digits, including newly acquired J.R. Smith and pure shooter Steve Novak, who formerly rode the bench with Lin.

It is always nice to see a Knicks victory over a team as good as the Mavericks, but today was so much more than that. What really excites me, as it should any Knicks fan, is the fashion that New York won in.

Following an outstanding first quarter in which the Knicks completely dominated and took a 32-20 lead, the momentum quickly shifted into the possession of the Mavericks; Dallas outplayed New York, and led by as much as 12 points in the third quarter.

The Knicks could have laid over at this point, but instead they responded and showed a great deal of resiliency, as any championship level team would.

Behind the shooting of Steve Novak and the leadership of Jeremy Lin, the Knicks quickly regained the lead and were able to defeat the mighty Mavericks.

With today’s win, whether or not the Knicks are contenders in the Eastern Conference is no longer a question, but instead the question is whether or not they should be considered the favorites.

It may sound crazy when you consider the fact that this team was just 8-15 and on the outside looking in on the playoff picture, but it is certainly not out of the question. The Knicks beat the defending champion Mavericks without their best player, and the notion that Carmelo Anthony will do anything other than be a huge help to this team is nothing short of ridiculous.

New York has all the pieces necessary to win a championship; they have an elite point guard in Jeremy Lin, superstars in Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, a great rebounder and defender in Tyson Chandler, solid help in the backcourt from Iman Shumpert and Landry Fields, shooters in J.R. Smith and Steve Novak, a scrappy Jarred Jeffries, and veteran leadership in Baron Davis and Mike Bibby.

This team is legit.

The only person stopping me from calling the Knicks the full out favorites is LeBron James. LeBron is the best player in the NBA, and has his help in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

The Knicks have a much better team top to bottom than the Heat do, but it is difficult to call New York a better team when the best player in the world plays for Miami. It will be very exciting to see these two teams get together on Thursday night.

It’s been a long time coming, but the New York Knicks are a force to be reckoned with.

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