The 2012 New York Knicks were not a championship team. Hell, they didn’t even win the Atlantic Division. To make matters even worse, they were knocked out of the NBA Playoffs in the first round.
All of these facts may make the 2012 campaign seem like a failure for a team that had Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler, but it was most certainly not.
For the first time in a long time, this New York Knicks team is one that Knick fans can be proud of. For the first time in a long time, the New York Knicks have a bright future.
This season started out as dreadful as possible; New York was slumping, as they found themselves with an 8-15 record when they woke up on February 4th.
The 4th of February may have started out poorly, but it turned out to be one of the most important and one of the best days of the season. Due to injuries and lack of consistent play at the point guard position, Jeremy Lin—who had been nothing more than a bench warmer since he entered the league—was given an opportunity, and suddenly Linsanity had begun.
Linsanity didn’t last forever though, as the Knicks would find themselves with a record of 18-24 on March 14th when Mike D’antoni resigned. Mike Woodson took over, and the Knicks turned it around, finishing the season by winning 18 of their final 24 games. It was this kind of heart and resiliency that made this team so easy to root for.
The team fought injuries throughout the season, as Carmelo, Stoudemire, Lin, Iman Shumpert, Baron Davis, and others missed significant time due to injury. Could their first round series have gone in their favor had they been healthy? It’s very possible, but nobody can know that for sure.
Regardless, they did lose in the first round, but that does not change the fact that this team achieved plenty despite this roller coaster of a season.
Rest assured one thing: the Knicks will be ready to go when the 2012-13 NBA season comes around. With a long offseason to rest up, a full training camp, and a full, spread out 82-game season could and should result in this team contending for a title.
Mike Woodson deserves to be at the helm as head coach; this team responds to him and Carmelo reaches his potential under Woody. Additionally, the Knicks played as good on defense as anyone in the league after Woodson took over, which is an obvious sign that he should be kept.
In order to truly contend for a title, the Knicks don’t need to make any major changes, they just need to get and stay healthy. Their starting lineup will likely be Jeremy Lin(or possibly Steve Nash) at the point, Shumpert at the two guard when he recovers, Carmelo at the three, Stoudemire at the four, and Tyson at the five. That starting five, along with a bench that should include Steve Novak, Landry Fields, Jarred Jeffries, and Josh Harrellson is more than enough talent to compete with anyone in the league.
The only move I would make would be letting J.R. Smith go. Smith has talent, but will never understand the concept of team basketball nor will he ever be able to completely fit in a successful offense. Simply put, he has been a cancer to this team.
Other than that, management really does not have to do too much. Obvious, if you can get Steve Nash, you do that. Nash is still one of the elite point guards in this league, and could turn this team from Eastern Conference contenders to Eastern Conference contenders. If they cannot sign Nash, that is not too much of a problem, but Jeremy Lin will have to play up to expectations next season.
There will be no banners hung for this 2011-12 Knicks team, but, at the end of the day, it was one to be proud of, and that’s more than we as Knick fans have been able to say for over a decade. For once, the future is bright for the Knicks.
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