Don't look now but the New York Knicks are 5-0 under interim coach Mike Woodson... and they've won with DEFENSE... and Lin-sanity is still alive.
4 out of the 5 Knicks' victories during this streak have been by double digits beating the Indiana Pacers in back to back games (never easy) and the division leading Philadelphia 76ers last night (March 21st) on the road 82-79. Ever since former coach Mike D'Antoni (above right) resigned at the end of a six game losing streak, the Knicks have been playing the kind of swarming defense that makes fans of the team rub their eyes wondering if it is the early 1990s all over again.
While Charles Oakley and Patrick Ewing (above) are not walking through that door, Tyson Chandler has been a beast in the middle and Carmelo Anthony (first photo above left) has all of a sudden become a guy content with scoring under 20 points in 4 of the 5 games during this run.
And welcome back Amare Stoudamire (above). Someone must have delivered STAT's hops to Philly as he had the spring in his step, with chase down blocks and stand still dunks, that made him a 25 point per game man last season.
Any talk of Jeremy Lin's demise have been greatly exaggerated like D'Antoni's post game pressers. Lin remains the focal point of the offense racking up a double double versus Toronto on Tuesday night (March 20th) and has cut down on the turnovers, possibly because he is not running down the court like his hair is on fire after every rebound. Slow the ball down, make less mistakes: what a novel concept.
This team (at least the stars) quit on D'Antoni. There's no other way to slice it. Woodson has been on the bench all season. Where was this defensive intensity? These Knicks are unrecognizable and I love it. The offense is still putting up points (113 ppg average coming into the Philly game), the bench is still doing their thing, this team could be dangerous.
The 2011-12 Knicks are so frustrating. We thought they turned the corner at the beginning of Linsanity, then Carmelo comes back and they lose 9 of 12. D'Antoni leaves and they are world beaters again, this time with Anthony and Stoudamire on the floor.... at the same time... with Anthony passing the ball...when he is at the rim!! Can it be? Another run like 1999-2000 when another labor dispute cut the season to 50 games and the eighth seeded Knicks supposedly had no chance against number one seed Miami? Allan Houston is still with the Knicks. Even though he is not on the court to hit another improbable runner to end the Heat's season there's no reason why these Knicks can't do the same thing...
in a later round ^ _ ^
In other NBA news Derek Fisher (above left), traded by the Los Angeles Lakers earlier in the week was bought out by the Houston Rockets (he refused to report) and cleared waivers on Wednesday (March 21st). Well, Fisher has signed on with the Oklahoma City Thunder!
Et tu Brute?
These traded Lakers vets are spiteful aren't they? Lol.
First LaMar Odom goes to Dallas, now Fisher joins Durantula in OKC. Kobe Bryant, who was probably already pissed his best friend was shipped out, can't be too happy about this.
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) coach Shaka Smart has declined an offer to take over the Illinois coaching job. Smart who led the HBCU school to the Final Four last year and the round of 32 this year decided to shun the prestige and notoriety of the big name program and stay with the players that most likely need his guidance much more. Good for him!
And finally 39 year old Andy Petitte has ended his retirement and returned to the New York Yankees. He signed a minor league contract and may most likely make the big club sometime in May after he gets back in game shape.
Why retire in the first place??