Many seasons have gone by since Knicks fans have had a realistic contending team to cheer for. The storied franchise is still looking for its first championship in almost 40 years since Reed and Frazier led the Knicks to the 1973 title. This past off season, Knicks management went out and invested in some acquisition to bring the Knicks franchise back to its glory days. The biggest off season move was when they signed prized seven-foot tall center Tyson Chandler away from the defending world champion Dallas Mavericks. The Knicks also acquired PG Mike Bibby, whose team the Heat had just lost in the NBA finals, and has many years of solid playoff experience. Two other sharp moves made by the organization were the picking up of veteran free agent PG Baron Davis and hiring defensive coach Mike Woodson.
The Knicks escaped with a two point victory over their arch rivals Boston Celtics on opening day at Madison Square Garden, only to follow the win by losing four out of the next five games. The Knickerbockers then went on to win their next four games including a 23-point drubbing in Detroit against the Pistons to up their record to 6-4. But after a fairly impressive winning streak, it all came apart with a six-game losing skid capped off by a double overtime home loss to the Denver Nuggets. Then the Knicks hit the road hoping a change of venue could turn things around. They started off the road trip by drilling the Bobcats 111-78, only to be embarrassed the next night in Cleveland 91-81 by the lonely Cavaliers. The sizzling Heat and hot Rockets are the next two stops on the road trip.
The lone bright spot for the Knicks this season has been the play of rookie guard Iman Shumpert. The 6’5” Georgia Tech alum was inserted into the starting lineup recently and is first in the NBA in steals per game and third among rookies in scoring. During this past off season, many of the teams in the East strengthened themselves very well. So if the Knicks decide they want to compete and do some damage in this shortened NBA campaign, they must act fast. They need solid contributions from their three all-stars on a nightly basis. An upgrade in defense would help out a lot since teams are rolling all over them, game in, game out. Sadly, this season only consists of 66 games, so there’s not much opportunity to catch up when you go through slumps and bad stretches like the Knicks have. But the good news is that there’s still sufficient time to get back in it, we’re only one month into the season with three more to go.