Amidst the absolute raucous, unadulterated, well-deserved joy of this past week... Knick fans across the land are carrying with them, some silently, and some out loud, a genuine anxiety regarding the return of our max contracts.
To quell this anxiety, obviously only one thing can happen... we have to play a game with our full roster.
However, I think each of our personal beliefs as to how we'll perform once Melo returns (and to a lesser degree Stat), depends on your belief around WHY we have won these 5 in a row.
For those who think we have won more because of the basketball skills that Lin has brought to the court (ball handling, vision, quickness, shooting) are more likely to think that there won't be an adjustment once Melo returns. It seems the belief is that with the ball in Lin's hands, Melo skills will be maximized and the offensive and defensive efficiency will only improve.
For those who think we have won more because of the intangibles that Lin has brought to the team (unselfishness, leadership, determination, brotherhood, trust, resiliency and good ol' fashion badassness) are more likely to think that Melo's return may be to the detriment of offensive and defensive efficiency.
Obviously, as with any great debate, the answer usually falls somewhere in between, but as we all wait with baited breath, the return of Melo, it is most definitely an interesting element of basketball to reflect upon.
Personally, what I've enjoyed most these past 5 glorious games, is the unity of this team... yes, I love that the unity has led to wins and Lin most definitely has a base of skills that has maximized the skills of the very same players whose skills we so often doubted earlier in the year... but it's the WAY the guys are playing WITH and FOR each other that has been absolutely inspiring... and it's these byproducts of Lin's presence that I fear will be compromised by Melo's return. Not by intention because I don't doubt for one second that Melo doesn't want to win, but simply because he is a very different ingredient, and sometimes, certain ingredients just don't taste as good with certain others.
So which way do you lean? Why do you think we've won these last 5 games? What are your philosophies of winning?
Name on the back of the jersey?
Or name on the front of the jersey?
Where do you all fall?