For New York Knicks fans, the past 11 years have not been easy, as the Knicks have not won a single playoff game in that time span. With all things considered, it would not at all be a stretch to consider them the worst franchise in all of sports during the time period.
However, after all of these long years, New York Knick fans finally have a team to be proud of.
Regardless of the outcome in the upcoming 2012 NBA Playoffs, the 2011-12 New York Knicks will be a team to remember.
Watching this team improve and develop over the past 4 months has truly been a treat. There is no one person responsible for this, as this has been both a complete team and a complete organization effort. Through the ups and downs of this rollercoaster 2011-12 season, the Knicks have persevered, thanks to many contributions.
First, thank Glen Grunwald, who has recently been promoted from interim general manager to the full time general manager. Glen built this team, and found pieces that went on to shape them into a successful one.
Thank Tyson Chandler, the one superstar that did not suffer a major injury this year, while morphing this team into a very good defensive one, after years of the Knicks being nothing short of dismal on the defensive side of the ball. The passion and heart that Tyson has brought to the floor every single night can not be taught, nor could it be more valuable to this team.
Thank Jeremy Lin, who provided a much needed spark to an 8-15 team, and gave legitimate hope to Knicks fans, while also getting this team to loosen up and have fun playing basketball.
Thank Iman Shumpert, whose defense has been incredibly valuable to the Knicks throughout the season, while proving to be one of the top rookies in the league this year.
Thank Landry Fields, who is another vital reason that this team is as loose and is having as much fun as it is. Landry is just a second year player, but has played a very valuable role on this squad.
Thank Steve Novak, who has developed into the best shooter in the league, and is a key component in the thrilling Knicks’ offense.
Thank J.R. Smith, who has really found his shooting stroke over the past month, and has given the Knicks something that every team desperately needs more of–a scorer. J.R. can come off the bench during any given game and score 20 points, something that will be incredibly valuable in the playoffs.
Thank Amar’e Stoudemire, who has battled injuries this year, but when he has been at his healthiest has been as effective as ever, and in the past four games has showed that he will be the Amar’e that the Knicks need to succeed.
Thank Mike Woodson, whom the Knicks are 18-6 under since he took over on March 14th. This team really does respond to Woodson, and he deserves a contract extension after this season concludes.
Most of all, thank Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo has certainly gone through a lot this year; he had to hear people say that the Knicks should trade him, that they were better off without him, and that he could never succeed as a Knick. Well, the critics have gone away. Over the past month and a half, Carmelo has been the man for the Knicks, playing his best basketball in a long time, while putting the team on his back. Carmelo Anthony is the Knicks’ MVP, and this is his team. He is the main reason they have a chance to win their opening series against the Heat.
From a team that looked like one of the worst in the league at times this season, the Knicks have improved into one of the best.
No, they are not the favorites, and no, they might not even come out of the first round. However, since Woodson took over, the Knicks are 18-6, good for best in the Eastern Conference. People can sleep on the Knicks all they want, but nobody should be too surprised if the Knicks beat the Heat and proceed to win the conference.
Regardless of what happens, the Knicks have a very bright future, and this team has been fun to watch.
About the Author
Written by Michael Burke
I'm Mike. I'm 16 and love sports. I'm a Knicks, Yankees, Colts and Notre Dame die-hard. My dream is to cover the Knicks professionally, so I hope that PSB can help me reach that goal. Follow me on twitter: @michaelburke47