January, wow! What a crazy month for our beloved Knicks. With ups and downs, with bad losses and great wins, like winning at internet roulette, the first month of 2011 has been a real challenge for us.
After finishing the year with 4 wins over .500, everybody was wondering how will New York compete against the much stronger teams that were waiting the test.
If the Knicks had one of the most easiest schedule start, with most of the opponents being now in the lower side of the standings, things were about to change soon.
San Antonio twice, Phoenix twice, the Lakers, the Jazz, Thunder, Wade’s team and the Hawks took New York for a rough ride that didn’t ended as bad as it looked at first. Sure, there was a very ugly losing streak of 6 games but on the other side, there were some very nice things to remember, such as:
- The win against the Pacers. There were a lot of love for Ronny Turiaf before but after the first game of 2011 he became a fan-favorite. In spite of him scoring only 2 points, he contributed with 10 boards and 6 blocks. Amazing!
- The win against the Spurs. San Antonio is still leading the league with just 7 losses and 40 wins and Wilson Chandler had a heck of a game, with 31 points and 9 rebounds.
- The win in Phoenix. Stoudemire’s first visit to Arizona since his departure with the Suns got him 23 points but Raymond Felton’s effort against Steve Nash was the thing that answered a lot of questions regarding Ray-Ray’s ability to replace Amare’s former PG.
- We got an Knick in the All Star starting lineup. Wow, when has that happened last time? 1992? Seems like ancient history! Amar’e Stoudemire brought back the funk to Madison Square, and his effort has been strongly paid with a spot on the All Star Game lineup, alongside Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, the one that we will not name and Dwight Howard. The All Star game is back for us, Knicks fans.
- The win against the Miami Heat. We all knew it wasn’t going to be impossible; the only question was, when will it happen? After losing the first two matchups (the first one being very painful), their second coming to MSG made it sweeter. First win against them since 2008. Second rounder Landry Fields made another statement that night with 19 points and 13 rebounds. He’s been terrific so far and the Garden has a lot of love for this youngster. Ask Spike.
- Mozgov rising. This kid has been forgot on the bench for a very long time, and in spite of all the criticism he received for driving too many fouls and being unable to adapt to the NBA style he has proved that once he’s trusted with more than garbage time he can be a real asset to this organization. 23 rebounds and 14 rebounds? Yeah, I think that’s pretty nice for a guy that hasn’t touched the floor in months. I know I know, it was just the old Pistons, but I think he CAN compete. Now if only Randolph will start being used.
Ok, our record has dropped a bit since December, but looking back it’s not the end of the world.
So we didn’t get Melo. Yet. Maybe we’ll never get him. But that’s still not something to cry about like when losing at online slots. The Knicks have started a real process of rebuilding (the first in over a decade) and losing pieces that fit the puzzle in order to get a big name that we don’t even know for sure that will be an asset to this team, might hurt this team more.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t make a trade for Anthony. I’m just not ready to give up on these guys yet.