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New York Knicks 2010-11 Season Recap

There was a moment before the end of Game 2 of the Knicks and Celtics series when Jared Jeffries made a big layup late in the game.  There, I thought that New York might actually have a shot in this series.  They lost Chauncey after Game 1, and Amar’e early in Game 2.  Carmelo led the Knicks to a Game 2 that they should have won.  Unfortunately, reminiscent of what most coaches would tell their players after games like these, words like should, would, or could don’t mean anything when it’s already done.

Although, the Knicks haven’t ended the season on a bright note, they have significantly improved over the last ten years.  New York finished the regular season with a 42-40 record.  It was their first winning record since the 2000-01 season, when Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell were the team leaders, and when Larry Johnson ended his career because of a reoccurring back injury.  Despite the loss, they still managed to have a 48-34 record.  This season’s team most likely would have had a better record, whether Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups played with New York for a full season, or if the Knicks kept their first roster for a full season.

Now that New York has confirmed that Billups will stay in New York for next season, they have a legitimate chance of growing into a better and more experienced team.  It is expected to see Stoudemire and Anthony shine next year, but keeping Billups helps them maintain a balance.  He was unlucky to have sustained numerous injuries for his short time being a Knick, but he now has a full off-season to recuperate.

Out of the Knicks top three paid players, Amar’e Stoudemire has played a full season in the orange and blue.  He has done a tremendous job on helping New York reach the playoffs.  He was very consistent through most of the season.  Stoudemire was even considered an MVP candidate for his excellent scoring early in the season.  He has proven great leadership, when many though he would struggle without the presence of former teammate from Phoenix, Steve Nash.  He has shown so much maturity than what most have expected.

Landry Fields will definitely be considered a sleeper pick in last year’s draft.  Nobody would have thought he would be a candidate for the Rookie of the Year award.  His stellar basketball reflexes have many experts seeing him as a tremendous role player in the near future. He is the kind of guy that strong playoff contenders will soon beg for. Landry is that “glue-guy”, he yearns for doing all the things other guys won’t ever bother trying.  I would love to see him continue that style of play in the years to come.

Toney Douglas may have had his ups and downs this year, but he had a pretty good season overall.   We see that Toney can light it up from long distance.  He has the potential to be a great scorer off the bench, especially after his performance that included nine 3-pointers.  He needs to be more confident, it seems like he is hesitant in some games, while he dominates from long range in other games.  Fields has also had the same problems late in the season.  It appears that Douglas improved his role as facilitator after the trade deadline.  It must be the appearance of Billups and Anthony Carter; they are willing to help Douglas become a better point guard.

The Knicks bench has done a good job as well.  Every single one of them put out great effort on both ends on the court.  Shawne Williams redeemed himself this year.  He definitely increased his free agent stock through his shooting, but I expect him to stay.  Ronny Turiaf worries me sometimes.  I thought he was only trigger-happy with his blocking; instead he did a great job denying shots and hustling throughout.   Anthony Carter showed that age can prevail among athleticism.  I enjoyed watching him play.  The same goes with Bill Walker; he has come a long way from surgeries in both knees.  Shelden Williams, Derrick Brown, Roger Mason, Andy Rautins, and Renaldo Balkman didn’t get much playing time, but I’m sure they have done a great job in practicing with the team.  You hope to see these guys stay, but you also want them to play.  My gut tells me that at least two of these five won’t stay.

Carmelo Anthony is exactly what fans expected, and he is very happy to be a Knick.  He did a great job shooting the ball here.  He looks to shoot the 3-ball more often in New York, but he does a better job doing so, than in Denver.  He seems to be very happy being here, and hopefully that is good news.  Regardless of how people judge his style of play, Anthony looks more determined to help the Knicks win more.  I surely believe that he is learning to win more through his shooting and improved passing instincts.

Last, but not least, you have to thank he former Knicks that were traded this season.  Raymond Felton played his best season so far, he did a great job in running the pick and roll with Stoudemire.  Danilo Gallinari was a fan favorite.  He has added a lot of moves into his arsenal, and he has a knack for getting into the free throw line.  I thought that Wilson Chandler would never be considered in trade talks, but you can understand why he was traded.  He is a quality all-around player, and has all the skills to be an all-star.

There were a lot of ups and downs this season, mainly because of the frequent player transactions through the last three years.  Despite the constant movement, the Knicks did a great job in finishing the season with a good record.  They have shown promise as well.  They were many games this year that felt like the Knicks would be great in the playoffs, but experience and chemistry is always important.  Those are two elements that they will grow on, as next season arrives.

Follow me on Twitter @timosmooth

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