The New York Knicks remain the only unbeaten team in the NBA after a 10-point win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.
The Knicks are now 4-0 as star player Carmelo ‘Melo’ Anthony led the way against the Mavericks, scoring 31 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
Off the bench, JR Smith contributed with an outstanding 22 points.
The Knicks have improved their best start to a season in almost two decades, but who would have thought it would happen?
Since the departure of young sensation Jeremy Lin – who brought the Knicks back into the media spotlight – New York appeared to have dropped the ball.
They had lost a point guard phenomenon, a promising coach Mike D’Antoni and all of a sudden they weren’t the big hype on TV anymore.
Though the ‘Knicksbockers’ would be content on being ‘Linless’ this season, rather than winless, the boys in the Big Apple have plenty of reason this season to jump and shout.
First of all, there is five time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony. Melo is dominating the score board hitting at least 30 points twice and with at least 21 points in all four games so far. Just three games into the season he averaged 26 points per game.
Melo has rid of his ball-stopping offense and has been providing dominance across both ends of the floor. If he continues his impeccable form and intensity, it won’t be too long before he hits a 40-point plateau soon enough.
The Knicks have also changed their offensive game, no longer focusing on big shot players to do all the work. The Knicks are now playing team basketball, racking up dimes across the team playing list.
Point guards Raymond Felton and veteran Jason Kidd provide the majority of assists. Classy Kidd is valuable to the team providing not just assists, but outstanding steals, as well as a few handy 3-pointers and rebounds.
Felton is averaging 12.3 points per game and has the ability to spread the floor and find open shooters. A crucial source for assists and effective ball movement, Felton has the consistency to help players like Melo and Smith find space and clear shots.
Combined Felton and Kidd can give the Knicks at least 11 assists and 20 points on any given day.
A big factor that the Knicks can celebrate – will be the return of Amar’e Stoudemire. Although the powerhouse forward has missed plenty of floor time due to an ailing left knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery, the Knicks could do with his powerful presence in the post.
The All Star big man averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in the 2011-2012 season. Though it may take some time before Stoudemire will play in mint condition again, fans definitely have something to look forward to in his return.
The only concern now is how his return will affect Melo’s game.
JR Smith, Marcus Camby, Tyson Chandler and Steve Novak also compliment the Knicks line-up, Camby and Chandler can provide rebounds and blocks with their eyes closed, while Smith and Novak are a consistent source of points and effective shots beyond the arc.
With the form the Knicks are currently in, Jeremy Lin would have to be a distant memory now for most fans. The new look Knicks are back in the spotlight, this time for even better reason – a quality all rounded team and incredibly strong start to the season.
How far can these Knicks go?