We often get wrapped up in speculating as to whether the Knicks will be improved this year over last year, and when doing that, we speculate on the number of wins they might get and whether or not that will translate into a playoff spot. When doing this, we assess the chances of other teams, and when doing that, I find myself imagining other teams folding and disintigrating and playing poorly so that we might make the playoffs.
But you know what? Screw that.
I believe that the Knicks will be better. Several other teams in the east could be better too. So do I wish the Raptors don't mesh? Do I hope Brandon Jennings is a flawed player? Do I hope Yi Jianlian continues to be a bust? Do I hope that the Gilbert Arenas never regains his dominance? Do I hope that the Sixers can't win without a true point? Do I hope that Larry Brown's insanity resurfaces and dooms Charlotte? I've decided not to think that way. No, I hope that Gil is back, and that Brandon Jennings ignites the Bucks, and that the Sixers kill people with the Princeton, and that Toronto meshes and all those things. Because that means good basketball. Bring it. I want the Knicks to compete against the best.
I'd grown accustomed to ignoring the playoffs in the last few years, once the Knicks have been eliminated. But last year was full of great games and great wars waged by great teams. I think that the me-first mentality that a generation of post Jordan players had is largely gone from the game now. Some of those players are retired or marginalized like Marbury and Steve Francis - some of them have adjusted their games and their attitudes, like Kobe or Vince Carter. And the top teams all play defense.
I think the draft brought in a bunch of really good, exciting players. I know that we may come to regret not drafting Brandon Jennings, but I'm looking forward to seeing Toney Douglas try to shut him down. And Stephen Curry too. I know we may regret not drafting DeJuan Blair, but I'm looking forward to seeing Lee fight him for rebounds. Let's see Nate and Jonny Flynn in a jump ball.
The Knicks may not get any more wins this year. And if they do, it may not get them into the playoffs. But I think there will be some good basketball going on during Knicks games this year, and that's a good thing. Especially because I think the Knicks will be playing some good ball too.