Let's face it...
I was going to call this thread "I t old you so" but, beyond that sounding narcissistic, I admittedly couldn't even predict all the glaring reelations from this season. The point of this thread is just to put some conclusion and affirmation on stuff that SHOULD be obvious at this point.
Let's just face it...
1. The Knicks are legit. Are we a serious threat to Miami? I'm not sure. I think we may be a year away. That said, this is more than a fluke. We are a legit team that should be in the top half of the playoff seeding. We have multiple quality wins over multiple quality opponents. If I'm not mistaken, the only team who we outright have lost the season series to is Houston. The Knicks will, at the very least, have the opportunity to make some noise come playoff time.
2. Carmelo Anthony is an elite player. IDGAF what anybody says. My definition of "elite player" is a guy that can consistently compete and often times outplay ANY player in the league. Melo is exactly that. In my opinion, an elite player is a guy where, regardless of whoever he's facing, he's on an equal playing field. There isn't one player in the league that I fear putting Melo against...even LeBron. Not saying he's better or that LeBron can't have a good game against him. I'm just saying there isn't one player in the league where I concede that they will automatically have a better game than Melo. I have he utmost confidence in him on BOTH ends of the court.
3. Mike Woodson may not be the best coach, but he's a phenomenal motivator! He's not the best X's and O's guys (although I love how we look coming out of timeouts and beginning 2nd halves). That said, Woodson has a knack for instilling a confidence in players that makes them believe they're better than they are. Most importantly though, Woodson instills an expectation of accoutability and professionalism that we haven't seen in YEARS from or head coaches going back even before D'Antoni. I can tell he requires guys to respect the game. Guys take initiative to get better. Add something to their game. Just be a professional on the court. Felton lost weight. Melo is more focues defensively. Amare is in better condition and at least talking about defense. Novak has clearly worked on a quicker release and pump fake. JR...forget about it. By FAR the best year of his career.
4. We need to get younger. I like the veteran leadership and all that but we need balance. Melo is one of our youngest players on the team. That's ridiculous. I'm tired of hearing, "we'll be fine when _____ get's back." Given our age and health history, there's no doubt in my mind that our starting lineup will be a revolving door all year long. We need a few young guys we can grow with to add stability. Guys that will be able to suit up every night. I'm almost sure we won't cut Prigioni or Thomas (even though we need to) but there's no reason why we can't cut White. He literally is just running up and down the court trying not to screw up. James White gives us nothing but good cardio on the basketball court. He's taking up a roster spot that could go to a guard like Delonte West or big like Samardo Samuels.
5. Tyson Chandler is not an elite defenderI know you're thinking "here we go again." Well yes. Here we go again. Let's just stop saying it all together once. He's not a liability but he's not a huge impact defensively like Mike Breen loves to say he is. He does his job. I'm not even going to how much he gets paid. Let's just call a spade a spade once and for all. He's a decent defender. A decent rebounder (underachieving defensive rebounder IMO). An mediocre shot blocker. I also won't even get into his offense. Let's just all agree, he's not Mutumbo or Ewing or even Dwight on D.
6. Jason Kidd has contributed a lot this year, but he's NOT the long term solution as our starting SG. He's a great leader. He doesn't make many mistakes. His basketball IQ is very high and he always knows what to do. That being said, he IS NOT a starter, especially come playoff time. We cannot afford to give him big time minutes. I have no problem with him splitting time with Felton at point but, come playoff time, I don't wanna see this guy as our starting SG.
7. Ronnie Brewer has run his course. This guy can't continue to log big time minutes and give us ZERO offensively. I still like he signing because he actually contributes. Anytime you get a solid player for the min, it's a win, but Brewer cannot continue to start basketball games for us.
8. Chris Copeland needs to play more. He seems like the type of player that plays well when he knows he's going to be on the court. He needs confidence from his coaches and teammates to sustain his solid play. You only get that by getting meaningful minutes on the court.
9. Woodson's substitution patterns MUST improve. There are too many times where we don't have playmakers on the court. You cannot have Kidd, Prigioni, Brewer, Novak, Kurt Thomas, Chandler, Camby, White etc. and put any combination of more than 3 of those guys on the court. That is just an offensive liability. Those guys cannot create their own shots.
10. Beyond us playing well, there's a new sense of PRIDE behind being a Knicks fan. It's not just about winning. It's about the fact that we are winning big time, quality games and a legit fashion. We aren't winning on some fluke hot streak or a player catching lightning in a bottle for a string of games. We are blowing teams out AND we are winning ugly games too. We win on nights where we play out of this world...but most teams do. It's the games where we struggle and still gut out an ugly win that impress me most.