I have been watching sports for over thirty years. As a Rutgers, Cubs, Jets and Knicks fan I have the market on painful losses cornered. Between James Dolan's terrible decision to let Jeremy Lin go to the much deserved penalties that my other college team and alma mater received recently, it has been a rough off season even by my standards. But the tough times are not why I watch sports.
When you root for the underdog like I do, sports is about hope. It's about the improbable becoming the possible. It's being at the Texas Bowl and watching Rutgers end a century of futility with their first bowl win. It's Bernard King practically willing the Knicks to victory over Isaiah and the Pistons. That brings me to our current team with the Knicks and you know what....for the first time since Patrick was roaming the paint I feel like we have a punchers chance at a title. Call me crazy but I see a lot of similarities between us and the Mavs of two seasons ago. Like Dirk of 2010, Melo has the reputation of a Stat stuffer who doesn't win come playoff time. But like Dirk he also has a defensive minded head coach with a supporting cast that is willing and able to lock in defensively (discounting STAT). Defense wins championships they say. Well last years Knicks were terrific defensively. Add in players like Kidd, Camby, Thomas and Prigioni and I think you can argue that we've upgraded defensively with each of these players as opposed to Lin, Jeffries, Jorts and Fields. I look at our roster and see a team where you have two good players at every position on the floor. In addition you have veteran leaders who are battle test with playoff experience. the Mavs had Terry, Marion, Chandler,Kidd and the right mix of role players. We have Stat,Chandler, Felton and some good role players. now whether they will all come together like that Mavs team only time will tell. But back in the 90's I always felt we had a shot at the Bulls, even though we never came out on top I always enjoyed those teams. I get the same feeling with this squad. No analyst in their right mind will have us as a favorite but anything can happen in a seven game series. That's why they play the games. With my Cubs This year I knew they would not be in the playoffs but with these Knicks I see no reason why they can't win fifty plus games and go deep in the playoffs....and that is why I watch and hope. I can't wait for the journey.