Knicks Ready For Second Surge?





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Here we go again.

The first time it was Linsanity and all of the madness the arrival of a true global icon (Jeremy Lin) brought to the New York Knicks (along handfuls of wins) during his breakout moment last month. There was a seven-game win streak wrapped into a cosmic stretch that saw the Knicks go from a struggling outfit to a potential postseason matchup nightmare for anyone unlucky enough to draw them in the playoffs.

Then the bottom fell out.

Now comes Woodsanity … well, it might be wise to hold off on that one for at least a few more days. But the Knicks are definitely at it again. They’re 4-0 under interim coach Mike Woodson, who took over after Mike D’Antoni departed the premises last week.

The Knicks aren’t just playing well since Woodson took over … they’re playing great. They are playing like the team folks expected them to be when Lin, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and the rest of the Knicks’ talented roster had everyone whipped into a frenzy heading into All-Star weekend.

The balanced offensive effort combined with a heightened attention to detail on defense has them back in sole possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference — and they’re rising. New Yorkers see a lot that they like out of the Woodson-led Knicks, as Tim Smith of the New York Daily News points out:

Oh what fun it is for these resurgent Knicks, who have totally bought into Woodson’s system and philosophy. There is nothing Linsane about what’s going on.

“The spirit of the team, the energy of the team, we’re sacrificing, we’re buying in,” Lin said. “Using each other and individual shot attempts may be going down for specific people, whether it’s me or Melo or Amar’e. But then everyone else is getting more shots and the shots are easier. We’re able to keep the defense honest by using all five guys all the time.”

After Mike D’Antoni resigned one week ago as coach, everyone thought Lin would be taking a seat on the bench. With veteran point guard Baron Davis nursing a sore hamstring, Lin has maintained his spot in the lineup and seems to be settling into the job of running the team. He played much more under control and in the flow of the offense against the Raptors, committing just three turnovers.

“I just tried to be aggressive,” Lin said. “I’m not sure how many shots I took but I was trying to put pressure on the defense, and if it was open, it was open. I got some easy ones from other people looking for me. Melo, Landry (Fields) , those guys hit me with a couple of passes where I was open.”

They have a huge test tonight in Philadelphia, facing a team that smashed them last time (106-94 March 11 at Madison Square Garden). That was the game Anthony and Stoudemire watched from the bench in the fourth quarter as the Knicks gave up the fight before the bell rang for the final round. Days later, D’Antonio was gone and the Woodson (interim for now) era began.

For all of their struggles in the time before Woodson took over, just four games separate the Knicks and the 76ers in the Atlantic Division.

The last time these two teams met Anthony and Stoudemire weren’t in the comfort zone they appear to be in now. They weren’t talking like this:

“Guys are playing at a very high, confident level right now,”Anthony said. “We just want to bottle that up and move on and keep it going.”

“Everybody feels great. Having fun, enjoying the game of basketball, and that’s what it’s about,” Stoudemire said. “When you enjoy doing your job, then it makes it much easier to play and that’s what’s happening right now.”

And opposing coaches certainly weren’t speaking about them the way Raptors coach Dwane Casey did after they took apart his team last night:

“They’re a tenacious, different team,” he said. “It’s amazing, their tenacity, the way they attack. If you don’t meet it, they take you out.”

Woodson’s presence has certainly infused the Knicks with some confidence and a reassurance that things will run the way they should, for at least for the remainder of this season.

There is a sense of freedom that comes with that as well. Woodson is a hard-nosed coach, but has allowed guys like  J.R. Smith, Fields, Steve Novak, Iman Shumpert and Jared Jeffries to play with the same liberties they did under D’Antoni, which is arguably the best move he’s made during this opening stretch.

In another life, when Woodson coached the Hawks, he might have struggled to relinquish that sort of power to his reserves and role players. But not this time around.

“It’s fun. It’s fun to watch,” Woodson said. “Make no mistake about it, it was our defense that got us the spurt that we needed, and you know that’s what good teams are supposed to do. We’ve just got to bottle it up, man, and just continue to do it.”

We’ve heard talk like this before and it didn’t last.

Now that they are in the midst of this second surge, if you will, we’ll see if the Knicks have the staying power necessary to make things last.


81 Comments

  1. laker nation says:

    forget the knicks the will be swept again by the bulls this coming post season

  2. bballer says:

    shaun powell write up is way d*mb.. forget lin forget wooden? wtf.. is he out of his mind? its clearly lin made a big share on lifting the knicks.. lin is smart. melo should be traded… hes not that of a team player.. hes really talented but not good for team play and that is not good in a long run.. not good for finals and even playoffs..

  3. Da Daceva says:

    D’Antoni never won anything ever with that offense, we’ve been waiting for his departure. Now we have quality offense and defense is great. I smell a story similar to NY Giants, broke up and hurt in the beginning of the season(now everybody healed and mind right) so now we gelling and coming together, We beating these teams like a Team that looks ready to win it all. I don’t see no flaws in the system with the Knicks under Woodson its Dangerous. Our bench is going to win us the Championship MARK MY WORDS… Lin is good he plays to the flow of the game and takes over in the fourth quarter meaning work the flow and run the game. I like him. I don’t think miami ready and chicago hurt.

  4. Ranth says:

    Sekou Smith must have eaten his words. In the past Captain Blogtable, when asked when the Knicks will make the playoffs, Smith said no. What’s happening right now in NYK must have been a slap on his face.

  5. I’ve always thought that Mike D’Antoni was the most overrated coach in the league. He always underachieved in Phoenix, and Alvin Gentry took a less talented team to the Western Conference Finals the year after D’Antoni left. The Knicks never really met there full potential with D’Antoni and the change to Woodson is a huge upgrade.

  6. JBCHILLIN2012 says:

    The knicks are really on fire… They have won five in a row and very decisively. I think it’s a combination of things: 1. the introduction of a real point guard in Jeremy Lin- the amazing abilities of a player like Baron Davis also at point. It really makes a difference when using Tony Douglas as your offensive runner (A mistake that D Antoni made). Respecting your stars like Amare, Anthony, Chandler as well as giving your new untested celebrity PG (JLIN) the support he needs so he can learn and continue to play well. The gelling of a team that has been rebuilding for years now and a coach that is both defensively minded, tough spirited and holds his players accountable for how they play. Mike 2K is an impressive coach and if he even does half as much with this talented bunch as he did with the Hawks… Look out NBA… no really look out…

  7. Knicks winnig the ship i can see it right now..

  8. Patrickmarc says:

    Melo start to work with the team, and with the coach !
    He feels more confident.
    I guess Lin is for something in Melo’s attitude.
    Melo looks a bit less arrogant and give more help, he is getting old may be this time,
    more experienced.
    New-york is tough for any team now.

  9. Jhon says:

    I’m sorry guys,but if the knicks will face the Cicago bulls,thats the end of their campaign for the championship ring this season coz its gonna be a bulls year.

  10. charles says:

    Woodson is a really good and underrated coach and his personality better matches what the NY Knicks need to become if they want to win. Woodson got a team that is very similar to Atlanta but double the talent. I think he has the right ingredients to make some magic happen in NY.

  11. Atlantic Leaders says:

    Weve got a very real chance of becoming 4th seed by the end of the weekend at this rate. Two blowout games coming up against the Raptors and Pistons, a game against the Bucks after. And the 6’rs have to go play the Celtics and the Spurs, they might beat the Celtics, but I’m giving them no chance against the Spurs, and if we sweep and they get sweeped, were tied for the Atlantic lead, with the tiebreaker since weve got them 2-1

  12. newyorksteelo says:

    Knicks won the game against the 76ers. I am getting goosebumps from the way the Knicks have been playing defense. 5 straight wins. Amazing!

  13. NbaFAN says:

    I bet my house that NO eastern team would want to meet the Knicks on the first round.. Yes, even Chicago and Miami.. I even have the feeling that they will be the next GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS to upset a first seed.. I’m not an NY fan but you just gave to be realistic about how the team is playing and still there is a lot more room for improvement..

  14. Doug says:

    Anyone want to give the Milwaukee Bucks some love? They’re playing great lately and finish out the season with 12 home game and 8 road games. Four of those road games are against bottom tier teams: two against the Wizards, one against the Bobcats and one against the Pistons. Then they have two road games against the Celtics and one against Cleveland and the Pacers. So all of their road games are winnable. They play a few tough teams at home in that stretch but being the home team they might win those games. The Knicks’ schedule is tougher. So with the Bucks and the Knicks being practically tied for the 8 seed in the East, I think the Bucks have a better chance of claiming that seed by the end of the season. Unless the Knicks are ACTUALLY surging this time and not just streaking.

  15. whatever says:

    i really hope knicks get 8 seat and miami get 1st seat
    cuz knicks will do well being 8th seat Vs miami. it’s faith

  16. you're a says:

    smart guy

  17. Robert says:

    Jeremy Lin ball handle is suspect; to all knick fans don’t worrie Mike D’antoni is coming back because the win streak under Mike Woodson ends tonight against Philly.

  18. gorky says:

    if the knicks continue playing the way they are, they could well make the playoffs and beat miami or chicago, or even win the nba championship! people tend to think that the top teams always win the championship but those are just stats, and every now and then some underdogs with the heart to win dethrones some champions! if stats were always right then a designer team like miami would win all the games and be on the top. always. I don’t think they are on the top, are they? remember last year what happened? the great king james played like a princess in the finals, remember? it’s not like he or the other two didn’t have the stats to win. it’s just that the big ugly german and the gang had stronger hearts. so lets all just see how the linsanity (knicksanity) episode unfolds as we head to the playoffs. so far so good!

  19. NOVAKain says:

    Anybody else think that people are forgetting the fact that the pacers have a better record then the sixers so how are they the true test if any thing we will have to wait until ten games from now and see if there still winning games

  20. Loggerhead says:

    Why is Sekou wasting an entire article on a team that won’t even make the playoffs?

    • Knick Jumkie says:

      They should make it, might even be 7 or 6 seed if they stay focused. Boston is missing a center and have a tough schedule ahead with out one They are sure to drop down. Knicks will also have a tough April but there is hope and a chance..

    • RealReason says:

      i guess the same reason you’re reading it…because you know they’ll make the playoffs

  21. TVee says:

    if the knicks actually win the championship this year, wouldn’t it make for a great fairy tale/movie? all the ups and downs, the highlights and drama that has happened this season.. .wow! i hope the fairy tale comes true!

  22. Luke says:

    do you really believe that one guy can turn bad team into championship team in a week or two??
    are you kidding me?? didn’t happen with Lin, won’t happen this time.
    there is no “secret formula” to winning, you can’t just become coach and whisper some secretes to your players and they suddenly start playing great.
    this will end up exactly the same as this whole linsanity, some good games and then back south in standings.
    so NO knikcs will NOT threaten any eastern team in play-offs – if they get there at all, instead of looking who they might beat in play-offs they should worry about bucks.

    • NOVAKain says:

      first off its not one person its the whole team playing well but i do agree people are getting ahead of themselves again.
      The knicks will be a threat in the playoffs, not saying that they will win a series but i do think they can put some fear into chicago not miami though just based on how the two teams play

    • Ray says:

      I agree, teams win championships out of hard work and dedication, that’s how Dallas beat Miami last year. But New York has the depth and talent to give Chicago or Miami a tough series

    • Eli says:

      LOL there is a secret formula. its called DEFENSE.You talk like the knicks don’t have any talent in there team. the reason why there’s so much hype in the New York Knicks is because they have SO MUCH talent but there not using it effectively. Like you would think having amare, melo, chandler, jr smith and baron davis (not even gonna include lin) that they would be higher in the standings but there not, because the previous coach focused mainly on offence and everyone know offence doesnt create defense, defense creates offfence.

      • Luke says:

        yeah… defense, when was last time you saw melo or amare playing D?? you think they can learn this over night?
        sorry even phil jackson wouldn’t make knicks championship team in just over one month.
        if they keep their roster intact and melo is ready to work hard and dedicate in off-season they can be very good next season but not this year

    • Eric Sim says:

      Tonight’s game will be the awakening call for you. Knicks will do very well from now on, and Jeremy Lin will look forward to the re-matches against Heat, Bulls and Celtics. After that, then you tell me who is the better point-guard…despite his lack of seasoning…..and inexperience….let’s wait but I see history in the making

      • Rondo'd says:

        Dude if you think Lin is even a top 10 pg in the league you are crazy. As long as you dont leave your when he drives you can block his shot all day long. Watch how the Celtics defend him.

  23. susie says:

    The Knicks needed to prove letting D’Antoni go was all they needed to win again, good for them to win 4 in a row, but I still think D’Antoni knew what’s best for the Knicks when he asked for Melo to be traded for Deron Williams(this was the reason he got kicked, NYK management didn’t buy the idea). Imagine DWill at point and having Amare and Chandler up front, you’ll have a very deadly combination right there. Lin is good, but you’ve got to admit DWIll is a lot better.

  24. em says:

    ..i hope the refs play FAIR is all < sixers dont often get the benifit of calls much at all in games…no calls andd bad calls too often…, even at home … now its not the miami whistles that theyre playing tonight …. but still a media team thing…so … play fair refs <<<<<

  25. grobar says:

    jeremy is right refreshment for nba playmakers , he is very specific ,no there similar player as it ,samotimes exaggerated , but that is not , new york would be 10 . or 11. on eastern , he appeared in the most difficult time for knick`s , greeting from serbia .

  26. Melo has to step up! says:

    Melo still isn’t playing very well. What happens when they play a great team?

    • NOVAKain says:

      I agree melo is not playing well even though he keeps getting off to good starts then he disappears basically for the rest of the game i think the key is to keep him involved the whole game and not just the first and fourth quarter or the knicks will have a difficult time beating a great team which doesnt include philly tonight

    • KC says:

      Melo has always been a streaky head case. We saw this when he was in Denver. He still has moments of offensive brilliance, but remember it was a shortened season and he was trying to play through injuries at the start of it. Give the dude a break. He’s trying to find his place on a team loaded with talent, and I he’s done a better job of putting his ego in the back seat than I expected him to.

  27. Go Sixers ! says:

    Well, I can’t wait to see the game to 76ers tonight ! I am a huge fan to 76ers coz I lved in Phillys. However, to tell the truth that I also a very huge fan to Linsane. So, hope to see the result of Lin beat 76ers “ONLY” on this game !!! :)

    • Eric Sim says:

      You are what we said “torn between two lovers”. Tonight’s result is obvious – Knicks 105 – 76ers 98. Knicks streak will go to 8, then lose two games in a row, then win again…..

  28. Knickfansince83 says:

    Last time i Cchecked Indiana not only Beat a top seeded team in the Clippers last night, but the Knicks defeated the Pacers….wait correction..blew them out 2 times in a row, and aren’tIndiana and Philly only separated by ONE GAME, i would say the pacers are a great team this season wouldn’t you?, and we controlled them 97% of the time during those 2 games, it might be too early to speak of championships,BUT this team was built for nothing but rings, and if they continue to play the way they have on both sides of the ball the Eastern conference has a real threat on their hands, there is absolutely NO OTHER team with as much depth as the Knicks have,we wear out the other teams,looking forward to the game tonight but i’m confident in my Knicks to get it done again, completely different team than the team that played them on the 11th , NEW YORK BABY!!!!!!!!!!!! “we all we got” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • johnny says:

      I wouldn’t say Indiana is a great team, but they are a very good team. No question about that. And they did beat them twice in a row. And they did beat them by double-digits. So the Knicks definitely deserve credit. The true test for the Knicks is upcoming when they meet other very good and great teams like Indiana again, Orlando, Chicago back-to-back, Miami, and LA Clippers. I know I’ll be rooting for them. GO KNICKS!

    • MAYO says:

      ALL WE GOT BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KNICK FAN UNTILL I DIE!!!!

  29. ron says:

    im not really a new york fan but Lin made me one….im happy for the new york knicks…i hope they can stay healthy and compete deep in the playoffs….

  30. Kobe@Philippines says:

    I hope that Laker’s will somehow do the same as your coach has done.. That’s the best thing that could happen to LA right now..Imagine, treat the houston, wizards, detroit as if they can’t win.. How I wish..

  31. sickofknicksnews says:

    Anybody else tired of knicks constantly making headlines for nothing?

    • KC says:

      It is a little odd that the #8 team in the East is getting this much attention, but you have to understand the playoff drought the Knicks have suffered in recent years. It’s been a pretty dry decade and NY has only been to the playoffs twice in that period–both times first round outs. I think NY fans have good reason to be optimistic about this squad, which has lots of talent but hasn’t been together in a real way for very long. I’m not even living in NY and I find myself rooting for them–it would be a triumph of teamwork if they could get their act together. The way they’ve won the most recent games is the right way to win a basketball game–defense, rebounding, and sharing the ball on the offensive end. Finally, Lin is legit. He’s not an elite PG by any stretch of the imagination but it’s clear that he’s learning and watching him improve night after night is very interesting. I don’t think the media hype is that unreasonable given these circumstances.

      • Eric Sim says:

        I agree wholeheartedly with your viewpoints. You seem to know how basketball game should be played and won.

  32. Xtian says:

    Lol, Woodsanity. Nice one :-)

  33. -CNWW says:

    This is the ball they should be playing, however Knicks still have the ball black hole that is Carmelo. Until he learns to create off ball, and be an effective defensive player he will not create the synergy New York is hoping for.
    -Delighted Nuggets Fan

  34. kiwisepp says:

    Melo’s jumper needs to be corrected. His releasing of ball is too hard. If he could improve his FG % just a little bit, the whole game would be easy for Knicks.

    • Bobert says:

      Dude, Melo is an amazing shooter. I don’t know what you’re talking about. He is an allstar because he does everything right. Including that beautiful jumper.

      • TrueBullsFan23 says:

        He was an All-Star this year just because he’s an over hyped, no defense playing, high volume shooting knucklehead. Fans like you are the reason Josh Smith was snubbed from the All-Star game AGAIN.

  35. dave says:

    To correct the article, Jeremy Lin is on the starting lineup not because Baron Davis is out with an injury. Jeremy Lin is starting because he earned the right to start, coach Mike Woodson has stated this in an interview. Whenever there’s good team chemistry Jeremy Lin will be an excellent addition to the team. He’s not overrated like many were saying. If you look at the numbers and not hype he’s the best overall player on the Knicks. He ranks 30th out of the 337 NBA players this season on the Hollinger Player Stats, that’s way ahead of Stoudemire, Chandler, and Carmelo!

  36. Mabs says:

    Carmelo shot 5-15 last night and is still to produce a game of 50 fgp for at least 25 points since Lin was introduced. This is not Carmelo in his comfort zone. A great play finds away to effect the game with less shots, Amare has somehow done it, why does carmelo have to take 25 shots to get 22 points? Its silly. Trade Melo for AI (76ERS)

    • Huh says:

      are you kidding me, AI is a consistantly poor shooter, Melo will get it back. Plus, there are plenty of stars who are volume shooters and shoot low percentages some nights. Im a Knicks fan and not a Melo fan, but using his shooting as the excuse to trade him for an average player like AI is nuts! Amare has somehow done it? Done what? He gets paid 18 mil a year and he rarely makes 20 and 10. Give me a break!

  37. newyorksteelo says:

    If the Knicks stay committed to the defense and continue to play like they have, watch out eastern conference finals!

  38. infinite says:

    I agree that knicks coaching is a big problem prior to change. But like jonjon stated, knicks winning streak have not invovle with high sitting teams. Tonights game against the sixers would be a better measurement of where they stand currently.

    • NOVAKain says:

      Im tired of people saying this will be a real test against the sixers when Indiana has a better record then them and the knicks picked them a part twice

      • Huh says:

        exacty! Well said! The Pacers are the real deal! A stronger team than the Sixers. You people are sheep!

  39. Don Frank says:

    Hey Sekou,
    “we’ll see if the Knicks have the staying power necessary to make things last.”
    Thats exactly why I’m so excited to see the game at Philly tonight!
    I’m all confident that they’ll finally proove and make things last. It was such a tough season
    for the Knicks so far, and frankly, there’s not much space left for mistakes, anyway.
    Could you tell us which kind of liberties you’re writing about, Woodson continues to grant players?
    Regards

  40. jonjon says:

    here we go again, what are the teams they beat in tha 4 game wining streak?? is Miami, OKC included and other top teams? again those 4 games are easy so dont celebrate yet

    • jrnogi says:

      yeah… 2 on indiana… who defeat clippers just now.

    • ceeboogie says:

      well, the knicks did beat indiana twice + they are a good team. so no, its not the same.

    • 00Joker says:

      No miami and okc, but look at the margin and the efficiency at where they play those games. This is about the knicks playing great basketball under mike woodson not celebrating cause they beat the heat or thunder

    • knicksfan809 says:

      cool story bro

    • Huh says:

      average teams or not, the four they just won are all games they were dropping before the coaching change….

    • TTKIN says:

      Agreed, theyre only getting the hype because theyre the Knicks and they play in New York, the largest market for sports. If OKC wasnt leading the west, no one would know anything about them because they play in a small market. NY is going to lose the first round because theyll either play Miami or Chicago, no matter how well theyre doing by then, theyre not getting past either of those teams.

      • susie says:

        You nailed it right there! NBA is all about hype and big markets, no matter how mediocre your team is, but you’re in the top 5 market, whatever you do right will surely be blown big by the press.

      • Jordan says:

        If you think back a few years, not many people used to talk about the Knicks that much until Melo and Stat came. So, I dont think its just a big market thing

      • Jordan says:

        Also, no one used to care about the Clippers either (Los Angeles). I think its more of a big name thing than a big market thing

    • C says:

      They still dismantled the Pacers. Twice in a row. And please note I said “dismantled” and not “beat”.

    • OKC says:

      I am not a Knicks fan, but they beat the Pacers, and that team is doing great this season. They may not beat the HEAT, BULLS or OKC in a seven game series, but we have to be honest, you don’t want your team to face this Knicks team in the playoffs.

    • Jay says:

      Well it prolly wasn’t the top tier teams but Indiana is a playoff team and they was blown out twice… The margin on these victiories have to b consider. It’s early but the streak looks gud and the defense looks real gud

  41. thebest says:

    www Jeremyknicks.com !

  42. knicksalldway says:

    It’s clear to everyone now. the problem was not melo, but the coaching!
    go knicks!

    • TVee says:

      the problem was melo not giving any effort! especially on D! stat was playing D horribly too…

      • RealReason says:

        Lin’s defense was the problem…point guards were tearing him up (deron williams, 57pts)…i dont remember any of melo’s matchups going off…maybe he could have been more energetic but the defense during that stretch wasnt his fault. And before that horrible stretch, the knicks were in the top ten in defense…that was before Lin came in the picture and while melo was still there…

      • knickfan says:

        @RealReason
        When did Deron Williams score 57pts on Jlin????Are you watching & confuse at different game?
        Jlin is not great on defense but he is not bad as well. Most of the time, jlin wasn’t guarding other team’s top scorer, and he average 2 steals a game. In the 7 games win stretch, New York has very good defense along with jlin on the floor, so he certainly not a bad defense player.

      • Jordan says:

        Ya D Will scored 57 against the Bobcats aka the worst team ever. So….. J Lin held him under 20 one game then let him go for like 36 another. Check your stats though bro.

      • Rondo'd says:

        Rondo posted one of the best triple doubles in history against him. That is way worse than a guy just shooting lights out and posting 57 points. Rondo owns Lin

  43. jeff says:

    Good thing they are back in the groove..i know that Linsanity did not end just look at jeremy lin stat..all i know is who ever coaches them will get the same win that coach woodson have…

  44. JLin17 says:

    I’m just so glad that critics who said Jeremy Lin is overrated or that he only flourished because of D’Antoni’s system slapped themselves in the face!