1. New Ownership
Knick fans around the world were stunned last week to discover that James Dolan, legendary blues singer/songwriter extraordinaire, sold the team to analytics guru Nate Silver, the mastermind who accurately predicted the 2012 election months in advance using a Commodore 64, gumption, and the unsold copies of STAT: STANDING TALL AND TALENTED. Silver’s presence was immediately felt in the Garden when he fired Coach Woodson and newly minted GM Steve Mills and replaced them with Jeff Van Gundy and Grantland and New York City’s own Zach Lowe. Surely this change in leadership inspired the Knicks to hammer the Blazers in Rip City, and afterwards, Carmelo Anthony said, “Ball movement. We spread the floor and made threes. That’s our philosophy. That’s who we are. That’s why we won.”
2. Lineup Perfection
Mike Woodson’s bizarre lineups–remember how he’d trot out Melo, STAT, and Bargs together for long stretches in every game–were a thing of the past against the Blazers. The new Knicks brain trust started Felton, Pablo, Shumpert, Melo, and Bargs. The second unit was powered by THJ and JR Smith and anchored by Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace. Amar’e Stoudemire, unfortunately, self-combusted into a pile of dust midway through the second quarter, marring what was otherwise a perfect game by the Knickerbockers.
1. Our Glorious Westward Adventure Continues!
Another beautiful road game from the ‘bockers as Van Gundy once again proved why small ball and a plethora of 3s work so well in the modern NBA. When asked after the game if he ever considered using Woodson’s two-big man lineups, he scoffed and said, “This isn’t 1995, guys.”
But Silver and Lowe weren’t done overhauling the organization just quite yet. The Knicks somehow managed to unload Amar’e Stoudemire’s pile of dust–not to mention his two year $45 million dollar contract–onto Boston for Kris Humphries and Courtney Lee. Both guys are overpaid but can still be useful on an NBA roster, unlike Stoudemire who is no longer a human being.
Carmelo Anthony’s second homecoming to Denver was the exact opposite of his first. This time Melo stayed on the court for the full game and nailed a game winner that cemented once and for all why New York won the Melo trade. After the game, he said, “It was all about ball movement. The game just flows so much easier when Pablo’s out there with Felton. They didn’t leave me triple covered in the post. We ran our sets, and I got open on the last play of the game. It was perfect.”
1. Look Homeward, Angels!
The Knicks continued their hotstreak by shellacking the Pellies at home. More impressive than their decisive rout was Andrea Bargnani who heroically and fearlessly dragged Pierre the Pelican onto the court at halftime and ripped out his cold, black heart. “Kali Ma!” the Knicks City Dancers chanted. “Kali Ma!”
Nothing but blue and orange skies for these bodacious ‘bockers. And yet. And yet. And yet I wonder. I look at the standings. The Knicks righted the ship. They saved themselves from imploding or from any more Melo-to-LA nonsense. And yet, nothing really matters except for overtaking the Nets in the Atlantic Division. Nothing. The Nets could go 30-52, and if the Knicks went 31-51, it’d still be the ‘bockers at the 4 seed. They could lose ten games in a row, and none of this would even matter. NONE OF THIS WOULD EVEN MATTER. NONE OF THIS MATTERS.