A week or two ago, that would have been a laugh line. Now it's reality.
What does it take to be a true contender? Well....
1) First, you gotta have some good players. Knicks' starters: Lin, Melo, Amare, Chandler and Whoever-you-want-to-play-the-2 (opinions will vary) –- make a hell of Big Four+. An offensive BEAST, and lately, pretty damn good D too.
Will Melo fit in? Of course he will. To think otherwise is to assume a level of stupidity that's just not there. At first I had my doubts, but not anymore. It's gotten too big to resist.
Knicks bench: suddenly looks like it'll be DEEP. If nobody ever has to see the animated corpse of Bibby anymore, and with hopefully a minimum of Walker (and of course, no TD).... you can still go at least 5 or 6 deep once Davis and Harrelson return. Even if one or two guys fall off (or never make it back), it's still a good, strong rotation.
2) You must have good coaching. Here, opinions will vary again, of course. But Lin and apparently everyone else on the team loves this guy. That goes a long way to making him the right guy for the job. The ability to motivate a team is one of the keys to success, and in this reborn iteration of the Knicks it seems MDA does that very well. Plus, he is generally acknowledged as pretty talented on the offensive side. And the team is playing tough defense lately. So... what's there to complain about? It's all working now, so don't fix what ain't broke. MDA it is.
3) You absolutely MUST have the right team spirit to win a championship.... because it's so HARD, with many pitfalls and much adversity to deter the unprepared. Only teams with the right approach can make it. And that's what I'm seeing in the Knicks, all of a sudden. Nobody's playing for stats now... it's all about the team, all about helping and then praising your teammates. This is how championship teams are formed. You can't plan it, or even understand or predict how it happens. But it is clearly happening with the Knicks, right now. This is a group of guys who are just happy to be winning, and want nothing more than to keep doing just that.
4) To actually win a title, you must also get lucky, and that mostly comes down to health. Nobody can know about that, so 'nuf said.
Bottom line: With a little luck, the Knicks will seriously contend this year, and could win the whole enchilada. All the necessary ingredients are there. But still.... it would be.... totally amazing –- a story so cliched you'd probably never go see that movie. But here it is, all real and everything. Who knew?