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New York will be better, but fans will be thinking about what’s next

Dec 16, 2011, 1:30 PM EDT

Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony AP

The New York Knicks are going to win a playoff game this year. For the first time since 2001.

Having Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire together for a full season will boost the offense, having Tyson Chandler along the back line will turn them from terrible to average on defense (or maybe a little better, depending on what Mike Woodson can coax out of everyone other than Chandler). They will be a top four seed and likely even win a playoff series. A big step forward.

And you can bet Knicks fans will be thinking about the next guy that comes through the door.

Knicks fans will try to savor how much fun it is to be relevant again, how they have two of the most entertaining scorers in the league. But they will also realize that right now they are a step behind he Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls.

And they are the Knicks, a fan base that expects the best will want to play for them. So the question will be on the back page of the tabloids all the time — what player are the Knicks going after next?

It will not be Chris Paul, not for a couple years (he is going to opt-in with the Clippers). Dwight Howard did not put them on his list of places he would sign an extension (they already have Chandler now). It was Baron Davis, and even though they got him he is not going to make a big difference (he”ll give you flashes but break your heart). Thing is, it will always be someone. Don’t be shocked if Kobe Bryant or other superstars names come up, even if those are unrealistic (the Lakers aren’t trading him).

The reality on the court will keep Knicks fans going — but the Knicks may not be a smooth team to watch. Toney Douglas runs the point in a point-guard heavy offense, but he is a shooter not a distributor. He is no Steve Nash, nor even a Chauncey Billups. The Knicks offense is going to have to see Anthony and Stoudemire creating more of their own shots, the flow may of Mike D’Antoni’s offense may change. And Mike Woodson’s defensive system promises to have hiccups.

But these Knicks will be good. Worth watching. For long-suffering Knicks fans this is a team worth celebrating. After a decade lost, this is a team that will come back to the playoffs and be a threat.

Knicks fans — live in the now with this team, not the future of what might be. There will be deals, but the best ones are made by patient teams that are bold when the situation suits them. Savor what you have, the best team you have had in Knicks uniforms since the 1990s. Let that be good enough for right now.

  1. sdelmonte - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    I still wish they hadn’t traded all those interesting young players for Carmelo. I understand why it was done, but I liked that team more.

  2. bababenny - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Well said, but I think Douglas is going to surprise a lot of people. He works very hard and understands what he needs to do with this new team—oh yeah…he also has skills. He’ll figure it out. No one expected him to play a big role last year either—but he did. Much of it was at the PG position too.

    • dysraw1 - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:11 PM

      accept getting smoked by Rondo in the playoffs he had an outstanding year hes a very good defensive guy who deserves a bigger role & needs to fined that other level.

  3. beagle11 - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Kurt, What are the chances Steve Nash would come on the cheap to finish his career as a Knick? He lives here in the offseason and has a lot of friends in the area.

  4. cantonbound13 - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Best part of all, NO MORE ISIAH!!!!!!

    • brooklynbulls - Dec 16, 2011 at 3:56 PM

      Not true my friend. Isaiah has and will contine to lurk in the shadows of MSG. Believe that he was behind the Knicks giving up so many pieces for Melo via trade when you could’ve landed him as a free agent. As long as Dolan is here, Isaiah has his ear.

    • goforthanddie - Dec 16, 2011 at 4:15 PM

      Isiah will haunt that organization until they win it all.

  5. therealhtj - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    0 cap space and a broken down Chandler and Amare manning the front line. Oh yeah, the future looks super bright in NYC.

    • slowclyde86 - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:35 PM

      Knicks fans, you can give therealhtj thumbs down all day long but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s right. Thre back court is one of the worst in the league. No way does stoudemire make it through without missing major time. And, finally, how are they going to win a series with precisely one player (chandler) who plays D worth a darn. The Knicks will tank late in the year. I wish it weren’t so, as the league is much better with a contending knick team. This group looks like a classic Thomas team—big names but big flaws. Good luck.

  6. isujames - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    They would be better if they had kept big game!!!!!

  7. cnyphinfan - Dec 16, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    I don’t agree with the opinion of what Knick fans will be doing – I have been a long-time Knick fan and I will be very happy to sit back and enjoy watching this team, this season. Just like I enjoyed the players on the team prior to the Melo trade and enjoyed the team after the trade.

    After dealing with the horrible teams of the past few years – anything this Knicks team does in the playoffs will be ‘fantastic’!!

  8. dysraw1 - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    well said cnyphinfan after seeing Rory Sparrow & these types Melo & STAT are BIG

  9. damnyankee13 - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Hey Kurt, whatcha gonna say when Douglas distributes the ball more this season? Are you telling me that he is not aware of what you are saying?He’d have to be from Boston not to be aware of this. I say that he studied the playbook more and practiced more distributing the ball when he could so he could make himself into what the team needs. How do I know? Douglass may be young but he comes on ,to me , as a team player and a team player will do what needs to be done to help the team.

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 18, 2011 at 3:08 AM

      After watching the first preseason game Shumpert made faster decisions on the P&R thank Douglas. I’ll stand by what I said

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