Knicks looking good after two preseason wins over Philadelphia (101-92) and Maccabi Tel Aviv(112-85). In both wins the Knicks performed well. With contributions from the starters and the bench, as well as some valuable contributions from the rookies. But these wins didn't come against the "NBA elite" They came against a struggling NBA team and against a foreign team. Yes they crushed Tel Aviv, and that was bound to happen. The Knicks are an NBA team.
Granted it's only preseason, the first real challenge comes Wednesday against the Boston Celtics, and it's new big three. This game also showcases a first glance at Allan Houston. Bound to be more exciting than any preseason game should.
Boston Celtics provide our first real measurement of the Knicks. Again it is only preseason and the Knicks are without Curry and Balkman, two players that figure to be big parts of this team. Boston predicted to be one of the Eastern Conference favorites, has already beaten Toronto and Minnesota with the big 3 of Garnet, Pierce and Allen performing well as a unit. With the loss of Garnet to Boston, Minnesota isn't as strong a team as it used to be. On the other hand Toronto is also one of the teams in the East that is expected to make some noise.
Also making noise in the Pre-season is 6'2" SG Fred Jones. His play has flat out surprised me. I like his skills on both ends and his effort. You have to say it is strange seeing consistent SG play on this team, with Crawford and an often injured Q. Richardson. I just don't like the idea of a 6'2" SG, especially when you pair him up with Nate Robison in the second unit. I think they'd barely be as tall as Yao Ming with Nate standing on Jones shoulders.
That said, so far Jones is ahead of Demetrious Nichols and Allan Houston. But I'd rather see both Houston and Nichols make the team over him. Houston because of past history, veteran leadership and given the chance I think he can still be very productive, he is just the type of shooting talent the Knicks could really use, a consistent deadly threat from behind the arch. Some people have argued that by dreaming of Houston draining crucial 3pointers, I'm living in the past, and that maybe so, but I'm glad he'll be getting his chance with us. Before Houston over takes Jones on the depth chart, there is the chance that Houston just won't be able to make the team at all, in that case I'm all for cutting him.
Houston (34) is the oldest of the 3 SGs and is trying to come back from an injury that plagued his last 2 seasons with the Knicks. This brings us back to Wednesday