Originally written November 18, 2012 on Atlantic Twine:
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Photo by D. Clarke Evans/Getty Images The New York Knicks have been tremendous to say the least leading the Eastern Conference in the early stage of this 2012-13 season. Particularly, defeating elite teams like the Miami Heat (8-3) and San Antonio Spurs (8-2). Mike Woodson’s team has been impressive in various ways. The Leadership of Carmelo Anthony: Anthony has finally built a strong foundation as the Knicks’ leader. His attitude seems to be more positive and ego-less. The nine-year pro has filled up the statistics sheet in all facets posting 23.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. The common thread used to be the 29-year-old that would shoot a three-pointer late in the shot clock, now it’s the mature forward looking to make everyone better around him. Ever since Amar’e Stoudemire’s absence, New York has found consistency using Anthony at the power forward position. It’s early but would the Knicks think about trading Stoudemire? Knicks New and Improved Depth: The New York Knicks used to involve a bunch of superstars, now it’s about a family. It seems as though the team brings two sets to the table in every game. If this list of the starters isn’t striking enough: point guard Raymond Felton (16.1 points, 6.3 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game), shooting guard Jason Kidd (8.6 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game), small forward Ronnie Brewer (8.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game), power forward Carmelo Anthony (listed above) and center Tyson Chandler (9.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game). Surprisingly, their bench opposes a threat to the foe in every battle. A couple of names to raise are shooting guard sensation J.R. Smith (16.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game), newly acquired power forward Rasheed Wallace (7.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game) and three-point shooter Steve Novak (5.9 points and 1.7 rebounds per game). A bench presence is huge and rare in this league and the Knicks have applied a strong statement early in this season. The balance of scoring is transforming through the starters as well as bench players. Mike Woodson’s Preaching of Defense: Currently, the New York Knicks are ranked fourth in allowing 92.0 points per game in the NBA, which is something irrelevant in the past. Woodson has brought an all-around basketball frame to New York. Specifically, blocking shots has been a common theme throughout most of their games with roughly four blocks per game. Additionally, their opponents have to be alert on every play due to the anticipation of the quick hands of this team averaging nine steals per game. Woodson’s team has made their opposition turnover the ball 17 times per game. New York has lived up to their expectations so far. We will see what they can offer going forward.
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