Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 12/23/11

Expectations are officially through the roof for the 2011-2012 New York Knicks. They have Carmelo Anthony for a full season. They have one of the best power forwards in the game in Amar’e Stoudemire and have added the 7-foot-1 Tyson Chandler and veteran point guard Baron Davis to the mix. For Knicks fans, this season will be a bust if New York doesn’t win the East. On Wednesday night after their preseason win over the Nets, Stoudemire assured fans that he realizes where the target resides.

“We’re going to hunt in South Florida,” Stoudemire said according to the NY Post. “You know what we’re going to hunt down there, right? We’re going to hunt LeBron (James) and D-Wade (Dwyane Wade). I got the rifle, man.”

The Knicks have undoubtedly improved their roster, but they have to prove that they can keep up with the rest of the East defensively. A year ago, New York’s style of play was more suited for competition against Western Conference teams like the Nets, Warriors, and Lakers. If they want to succeed in the East, Chandler will have to be a dominant low post defender and guys like Anthony have to improve their man-to-man defense.

As for targeting the Heat, the Knicks have the right idea. That will be easier said than done, however. LeBron, Wade, and Chris Bosh took the Heat to the NBA Finals last year in only their first season together, improving drastically as the year progressed. It will be extremely surprising if Miami is not a better team this year than they were last year. Again, it will all come down to defense. It’s no secret that’s what the wild card will be for the Knicks.

Chest bump to I Am a GM for passing the quote along.

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