The New York Knicks, sitting at 8-15 just a little over a week ago, were dead in the water. With Carmelo Anthony out due to injury and Amare Stoudemire MIA due to the death of his brother, this team was on a fast track to yet another disappointing season.
Then came Jeremy Lin, the seemingly second coming of Steve Nash, and the Knicks now find themselves winners of 7 straight, sitting at .500 and about to get Anthony back.
But are they seriously title contenders?
With the out of nowhere emergence of Lin, the Knicks have captured the eyes of the NBA and the imaginations of sports analysts everywhere. With just a short body of work and one based without the addition of Anthony to the mix, it seems like the trendy thing to say is that the Knicks are now one of the top teams in the East.
And I have to agree.
The NBA this season is as unpredictable as they come thanks to the lockout shortened season but one thing is for certain, if you have star players, you have a chance. The NBA, more than any team sport, can be changed with one player and with Lin steadying the gaping hole at pint guard that the Knicks had, it shores up the back court and frees up Anthony and Stoudemire to be the type of players they are most comfortable being, something that wasn't happening in the early going this year.
"This changes everything up," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "The only reason we won [seven] in a row [is] we kind of found a way to shore up that spot [point guard]."
Yes, there is still a number of questions surrounding this Knicks team, mainly about is Lin for real and will Anthony get along with him, but as things look right now, New York is the hot spot of the NBA right now.
When the playoffs come around, it's going to be about which stars show up and which team is the hottest. If Lin can do comparable things then to what he is doing now, then the Knicks are going to be a force to be reckoned with.
Are they up there with Chicago and Miami yet? Maybe not, but I have to believe that this New York team has the potential to get there come the playoffs. All they need it to stay healthy, stay focused and most importantly, use the time they have between then and now to get used to one another, and to get used to winning.
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