Friday, December 17th, 2010...9:19 am
The Knicks Are Percolating
When Amare’s last millisecond three-pointer swished through the net I rose majestically off my couch with reckless abandon and roared with gusto. I had goose bumps. Even after I learned the game-winning basket would not count I was still energized and mesmerized. Wednesday night proved it. The Knicks are rejuvenated!
It’s been a vexing and daunting decade. A few years ago I wrote a blog post called A Knickerbocker Depression where I listed out the Knicks ten most stumbling, bumbling moments of the decade. I had all but given up on the franchise that had run a muck into oblivion. I followed the team in the papers but quit watching games or rooting.
A few years ago I somehow ended up on a Knicks email list with my friends and a few die-hard fans who had kept hope percolating. I thought they were suckers and my forte was to be overly skeptical of their optimism. But it did get me interested and hoping once again. Shout out to the omnipresent Lech for lifting me out of my Knicks stupor. Our dream was to bring Lebron and an all-star sidekick to NYC in the summer of 2010. When that didn’t happen I felt cheated.
I did not have high expectations for this year’s team. Although talented, I thought Amare was more of an enigma than a leader and wasn’t sure how much of an upgrade he was over David Lee. The team had little size, no experience, baffling holes, and was missing a shooting guard (arguably the easiest position to fill on a team).
On the day of this year’s opening game I vented to the group spewing venom at Knicks General Manager Donnie Walsh for his egregious blunders and transgressions. After an early season losing streak the Knicks, undaunted by their doldrums, somehow managed to make the quantum leap to reel off 13 wins in 14 games heading into last night. With each victory, as well as the Melo rumors heating up, my excitement heightened that the Knicks were actually legit. After a victory over Melo and his Nuggets on Sunday and the thrilling defeat to the Celtics there’s no doubt; it’s on.
Amare is an omnipotent and omnipresent scorer and a surprising team leader. I’ve never seen a big guy with such agility and mobility who can score as easily and uniquely as he can. He has unlimited moves in the post, gets to the basket, gets fouled and has a deadly mid-range jump shot. I’m also a sucker for point guards. I love how they set the tempo and wheel and deal. Raymond Felton is everything I like in a point guard. He has a perfect handle, controls the tempo of the game, and asserts his control as the floor general, and his impetus is to run the team although he can also score when needed. He swishes and dishes with continuity. I loved Felton in college when he played at UNC. I’m not sure why he didn’t excel in Charlotte but he’s playing at a tenaciously all-star level so far this season. Throw in six precocious neophytes all under the age of 25 including two talented scorers in Will the Thrill and effervescent Gallo. What you have is a beautiful juggernaut of an offense and guys who are following the lead of two rejuvenated ultra-talented all-stars who have smoothly embraced leadership roles. Then there is the uncanny Landry Fields. It’s fun to watch.
I’m not going to say I’m glad the Knicks didn’t get Lebron. But heading into tonight’s game against the Heat I can’t imagine being any more jazzed than I am by the Knicks prodigious performance and prolific team chemistry.
It’s riveting that the buzz is starting to spread here in the city. When the Knicks are good the city feels more united. The Knicks are the only pro team in NYC that everybody supports. Cab drivers, family members, wall street guy, doormen, co-workers and friends are all about to jump on the band wagon.
During this winning streak I have been talking up the Knicks to my Dad who hasn’t followed them in years. He wasn’t even willing to give this team a chance. So I texted him to turn on the game Wednesday night and check them out. I also hit up every Knick fan I knew during the game and sent out a tweet urging the world to tune into a thrilling fourth quarter. A few hours later my Dad called asking if I could get us tickets to an upcoming game. Minutes earlier I had picked up tickets to go to next week’s game against Oklahoma City. I would love to see them play Miami but the cheapest seats are over $250!
I’m excited and aroused that the Knicks are rejuvanted. It makes New York City more scintillating. If you haven’t jumped on the band wagon do so tonight vs. the Cheat. We plan to do lots more winning and grinning.