Here we are, right back where we left off.
The New York Knicks begin their 2012-2013 season in hurricane-ravaged New York against the last team they played, the Miami Heat, champions of the basketball world. Perhaps it’s fitting the Knicks’ first game of the new campaign occur amidst a disaster.
In some quarters, there are actually people who believe the Knicks are a better team than a year ago, a mystifying conclusion reached perhaps after a couple of bottles of whiskey were consumed. Last year, when Jeremy Lin and Baron Davis were healthy at the same time, the Knicks had some punch, depth, and momentum. Lin has been replaced by Raymond Felton, arguably a toss up, but so many others have been replaced by the likes of Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas, and Jason Kidd. Those who believe in these players are living in a pre-cell phone era. No one is criticizing them as impactful NBA stars, but depending on them for anything at this stage of their careers is nothing short of lunacy. Turn the clock back just one year, and watch, painfully, Jason Kidd trying contribute to the Dallas Mavericks. The Knicks gave him a three-year contract. Based on this madness, we have faith in Knick management?
In reality, the gap between the Knicks and the Heat has never been wider. Ray Allen, ancient himself, will be counted on to stand on the perimeter, receive kick and dishes from Lebron James and Dwyane Wade, and pop three-pointers. In that capacity alone, the Heat has improved immeasurably more than the Knicks.
In perennially injured Amar’e Stoudemire’s absence, the Knicks will turn to Wallace, or perhaps Kurt Thomas, in the power forward spot. Tonight, they’ll try to contain the inside game of the Heat, which includes Lebron flying by defenders on the way to the rim. James, sans monkey on his back. That’s the other vast Heat improvement – Lebron without the pressure of unmet expectations.
It’s almost unfair to start the season against Miami, a mismatch of horrendous proportions. When is that Toronto Raptor game again?
Glenn Vallach has been a basketball fan, player, and coach during his lifetime and, as such, an ardent follower of the NBA even with all its warts. He have also been a New York Knick fan since the days of Howie Komives and Walt Bellamy, when he regularly boarded the IRT Subway at 180th Street in the Bronx for a trip to the Garden to see his heroes.
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Knicks page
- · Yahoo! Sports Amare Stoudemire page
- · Yahoo! Sports Lebron James page
- · Yahoo! Sports Raymond Felton page
- · Yahoo! Sports Jason Kidd page
- · Brian Mahoney, The Associated Press, Heat-Knicks Preview