I am still having a hard time letting go of some great Knicks that were unfotunately used in the trade to get Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups.
Raymond Felton had tremendous heart and energy and reminded me at times of John Starks the way he was determined to help his Knicks team with the basketball game. Felton has enjoyed the best season of his young career, averaging 17.1 points per game, 9 assists per game, and 1.8 steals per game. Coach Mike D’Antoni, much like coach Larry Brown, loved Felton as a point guard and believed Felton at the one was going to get the Knicks back to the playoffs for the first time in 8 years. Felton is now impressing another North Carolina alumn, George Carl. He got major burn in last night’s one-point over-time loss to Portland, and will probably steal that starting point guard position from the other point guard from North Carolina, Ty Lawson.
Wilson Chandler continues to improve his game every year, averaging 16.4 points per game 5.9 rebounds per game and 1.4 blocks per game, all career highs for the young man. I see he is still hitting that baseline three pointer with the greatest of accuracy and he was basically the most complete player the Knicks had for the past three years. Defensively, Chandler was under-rated, and offensively, he could take over the game on any given night. If we won the game, usually it was because Chandler had a big night.
Danilo Gallinari has not wasted any time and is continuing to evolve his game. He scored 30 points and pulled down 9 boards last night, but most importantly, he got to the line 17 times and cashed in 15 points off of free throws. That’s the indicator of a highly efficient scorer in this league, when you can get to the line when you want to, and make them count. Gallo has improved his game this year, incorporating the pump fake from three point land, putting the ball on the floor and getting into the paint with ease. What makes Danilo such a valuable player is he is the definition of a team player, a great defender, and he will be greatly missed. Once he puts the outside shot together with all of his moves in the paint, Gallo will be one of the best scorers in the league, while still being a great player on the other end of the floor.
It was heartbreaking to lose Timofey Mozgov in this trade, I see nothing but upside with this player. Just to give you an example of Mozgov’s promise, look no further than the games against the Clippers. He basically got nutsacked by Blake in the game out west, but when he faced Blake and the Clippers the next time around, he was all dunks and scored 18 and 6. The 23 points and 14 rebounds he had during Detroit surprised a lot of people, but it did not surprise me. Those will not be his season highs if George Karl gives him any minutes this season. In three years, Mozgov will lead the league in blocks, I have no doubt. My fiancee says she still pictures Mozgov with his hands straight down on D, trying like mad not to pick up up a foul. Wish we had kept you on the Knicks.
So, like I said, I loved this team that we started the year with, and we did turn it around with this group. We used to win 23 games a season, but this group showed they never gave up and kept fighting back and had good chemistry and report. They were a young, fun team, and I loved to watch them at the Garden. Thank you for turning the Knicks around guys. Means a lot to me. WE LOVED WHAT YOU BROUGHT TO THE GARDEN EVERY NIGHT.
For the first time in my die-hard Knick fan life, I now have a second team to cheer for.