Sometimes a good butt whipping is the best thing that can happen to a team. During the course of a marathon NBA season, the players can sometimes mute the coaches’ message, as they go through their normal routines.
In the case of the Knickerbockers, the incredible 18-5 start has now spun into 14-14 over the last month or so. 1st place will not be enough to satisfy the masses, 32-19 would look a hell of a lot better if the Knicks started the season 14-14, then entered tonight’s game on an 18-5 roll, but this is not the reality we are in.
The media capital of the world can be extremely distracting to players, but can absolutely be the friend to the New York fan. They will keep players on their toes and push for excellence, even when the player is already giving all they got, for example Patrick Ewing. However, the media can also drive the underperforming player or coach out of town faster than you can say Don Nelson.
Let’s hope with the media crush and fan paranoia the Knicks can rebound and resemble the team of October and November! The addition of Kenyon Martin, although 8 years too late, can only help the frontcourt and allow Rasheed and Marcus to continue to heal at their pace. We must remember older players heal much slower. The addition of Martin ensures that both players will be available when it matters most, in April.
For now, instead of worrying about being caught by Brooklyn, Indiana or the Bulls, just take each game one by one. Upcoming games against Toronto, the Sixers and the Warriors would be a great opportunity to get back on track! The bottom line is, the Knicks need to be at their best come spring regardless of their seeding. A two seed without the services of Rasheed, Camby or Jason Kidd, would most certainly spell another 1st round exit.
However, more concerning than the looming March schedule will be Woodson’s ability to adjust the minutes of some players and extend the bench. Woodson has not been heavily criticized in the New York media, but that can all change really fast. How will Woodson respond to every decision being questioned if subpar play continues? How will he respond to every move being dissected if the Knicks fall out of 1st place?
As mentioned earlier, the media will either make you or break you. Let’s hope both the team and head coach are not made of glass. I suggest strap on the seat belts, this might be quite the ride.
Charles R. Trimble III @TrimsFCN – Knickswag Contributor
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