New York City, Our 6-0 Knicks are the only remaining undefeated team in the NBA, and basketball is back in The Big Apple. As a huge Knicks fan, I have yet to express my jubilation over the way this Knicks team has been playing so far during the 2012-2013 NBA season in a post (I have been on Twitter, follow @Sportsmasher), I have been too busy blogging about football, hot chicks and nonsense like bigfoot. So I decided to share some quick hit thoughts on the unbeaten Knicks this morning, following a huge win against the Spurs in San Antonio last night, with an game against a tough Memphis Grizzlies team on the horizon tonight.
– It feel great to have winning basketball back in New York City, the Knicks are 6-0 for just the second time in franchise history after last night’s come from behind win in San Antonio. This is a fun team to watch, and you can tell that they like each other and are having fun playing together, which always makes NBA basketball more enjoyable.
– In last night’s win over the Spurs, Carmelo Anthony was held to just 9 pints on 3-12 shooting, as San Antonio game planned to take him out of the game. And it worked. In a game where Carmelo scored just 9 points last season, the Knicks would not have had a chance, but this year’s team is deeper. Other members of the Knicks stepped up and carried this team to victory, and it is nice to know that this team can still win games when a team stops their superstar, or when he has an off night.
– Point guard Raymond Felton has been incredible for the Knicks so far this season, and people in New York have quickly forgotten about “Linsanity” because winning heals all scars. Felton has averaged 15.8 points and 6.5 assists to just 2.5 turnovers per game, and he knows how to run an offense like a true NBA point guard.
– The biggest stat of the season so far, the New York Knicks are LAST in the NBA in turnovers per game, averaging just 10.2. This is more than three turnovers fewer than the team who is in second place, the Memphis Grizzlies (13.3). After years of sloppy, turnover filled games, the addition of true point guards Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd has really stabilized the Knicks offense. It is really thrilling to watch smart basketball and not the sloppy, turnover filled play that has plagued the Knicks over the past…what? Ten years?
– J.R. Smith stopped partying, and the shooting guard has been playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 18.0 points per game and leading the NBA in three point field goal percentage. See what playing without a hangover can do for you? Smith’s shot selection has been better, he has cut down on the amount of knucklehead plays he has made, and it has been exciting to watch him rain buckets off of the Knicks bench.
– Jason Kidd, the ageless wonder, has been incredible this season. Kidd brings leadership, court awareness, and a sense of respect respect that this team needed. I think that a lot of the younger Knicks players needed someone who they respected, and they all respect the future hall of famer Kidd, so when he talks everyone listens. When the Knicks were down by 12 to the Spurs last night in San Antonio, Kidd hit back-to-back three pointers and lead the rally that got them back into the game, which they eventually won.
– Ronnie Brewer was an absolute steal by the Knicks on the free agent market, the journeyman has been the Knicks best defensive player, and is averaging 9.0 points and 5.7 rebounds for NYK. Brewer, who has been the starting small forward, has been a big contributor to the Knicks current run of success.
– The Knicks offseason moves that left the New York Media and some New York Fans so upset look pretty good now. The Knicks decided not to tie themselves to Jeremy Lin long term, and while Lin is playing well for the Houston Rockets, the Knicks do not miss him at all. Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd have been the stabilizing factors and the motor that makes the Knicks offense run, and the Knicks offense has committed the fewest turnovers in the NBA. As we all know, Lin had his issues with turnovers, and I can guarantee they would not be last in the league in turnovers if he was still wearing the orange and blue. While we are here, not matching Landry Fields’ contract offer from the Toronto Raptors ($20 million over three years) was a great move, he had surgery to fix nerve damage around his elbow and is out indefinitely.
– The undefeated Knicks still get Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert (and his awesome high top fade) back from injuries, which will give them more punch on the offensive end of the court (Amare) and one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA (Shumpert). This team is just going to get better.
– Can they stay healthy? The Knicks are the oldest team in the NBA and my biggest worry right now is still how they hold up during the wear and tear of the rigorous NBA season.
– Big game tonight against a tough Grizzlies team in Memphis. It will be interesting to see how the Knicks match up with Memphis’ size (Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph) and I think the Knicks will struggle against bigger teams as currently constructed, at least until Amare comes back from injury. Expect a smart basketball game tonight, as these two teams are last in the NBA in turnovers committed.
– It is great to have basketball back in New York City! Go New York Go New York Go!