Hey Posting and Toasting. Here's something that's been on my mind lately. It's a little bit personal - how this season (up to the Celtics series) has been very similar to my life up to this point (I'm 20).
Watching Game 6 against the Celtics at 1 a.m. in the morning, I realized that if anybody asked me to show them a game that would characterize the Knicks, this would be the one.
For the masses of people that are visiting P&T but haven't heard or seen what had happened - the Knicks jumped out to a huge lead, held it throughout the game, extended it in the 4th quarter, almost farted it away, but held on for the win with some timely plays that rescued them from a potential pressure-filled Game 7.
I think this says a lot about our Knicks. Their play is usually good enough to coast to a win, even if they aren't playing 100%. Their talent is usually enough, even if it means playing close, nerveracking games. Sometimes, very rarely, you see them focus and give 100% for extended stretches of the game and you think - "Damn, this team could crush anybody". When the Knicks lose or are down, it isn't because of a lack of talent or coaching, as it's been in the past. It's because they aren't playing up to what they've shown they can. It's both frustrating and fascinating, but usually the former if you're fan.
It really reminds me of me. I coasted through life up until this point, because lackadaisical and sporadic effort has usually been enough to get me out of tight jams that have gotten in the way of being lazy and doing nothing. Sure, I acknowledge it, and sometimes even have a stretch where I do something about it, but I usually revert back to my old ways in the end. This has been true all the way up until university this year.
I'd compare university to the first round of the playoffs. Sort of a warm-up to real life, where things start to get a lot more serious, especially if you have high expectations around you. If you're a high seed, the challenges are still seemingly easy, but can bite you when you least expect it - especially if you aren't focusing. The Celtics were the Knicks' demon if they ever had one. And even when it seemed like they were dead, they'd stick their heads our of the grave one last time to show you why you were so afraid in the first place. They would've never had the chance to if the Knicks focused and put the game away, like they should have. If they'd given the effort before, and not later.
If the Knicks win this season's championship (I believe they're more than capable), we will witness a maturation of sorts. Our team will grow up and blossom before our eyes. We know Carmelo will need to play as a cog of the offense for us to have a chance against Miami. We know J.R will have to drive, that Amar'e will have to play decent one on one D and Martin will have to shed his thug label. These things need to happen for them to beat the Heat and the WC Champ. These things will be difficult, but they are entirely in the Knicks' hands!
Players like Carmelo and J.R, I believe, encapsulate everything about this team. They can be frustrating to watch because you see that if they ever put it together, they could be lethal and efficient on both offense and defense. But they usually don't, leaving you frustrated and confused, wondering why they don't see what they need to be doing as clearly as you, the fan, does.
So that's probably one subconscious reason why I'm so invested in the Knicks season. Their victory and maturation would mean...I don't know, something. That all the talent in the world means jack shit. That to truly come out on top, you have to accept your weaknesses, even if you'd like them to be strengths (I'm looking at you, Hero Melo). That you have to play to your strengths (all of them) and give a cohesive effort in all facets of the game. A little reminder about life, as I've seen it, up to this point.