The Knicks Are Built to Win an NBA Title Like the Champion Mavericks Were

11/15/12 in NBA   |   Jnewman482   |   129 respect

Nov. 9, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots a free throw against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 104-94. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIREHeading into tonight’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, the New York Knicks were the only undefeated team left in the NBA. Now that game is over, and that has not changed.

After tonight, the Knicks are 6-0 for the first time since the 1993-94 season in which they made it to the NBA Finals and lost in seven games to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets.

But this time, maybe they’ll go all the way.

When you take a closer look at these 2012-13 Knicks, you’ll see that they are remarkably similar to the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks that defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

See if you agree:

Jason Kidd = Jason Kidd

Carmelo Anthony = Dirk Nowitzki

J.R. Smith = Jason Terry

Amar’e Stoudemire = more ball-demanding version of Shawn Marion

Tyson Chandler = Tyson Chandler

Steve Novak = Peja Stojakovic

Raymond Felton = Jose Juan Barea

Ronnie Brewer = Corey Brewer

Iman Shumpert = more productive version of DeShawn Stevenson

The model is simple. Surround a scoring machine, who has an elite mid-range game but also can shoot from downtown, with three-point shooters and a center in Tyson Chandler who doesn’t demand the ball on offense, but is effective at stopping it from going into the net on defense.

This offense that the Mavericks had and the Knicks have adopted is incredibly hard to guard because defenses basically have to choose between letting ‘Melo go one-on-one or doubling him and giving an open look to a high-percentage three-point shooter.

Apr 28, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) during the fourth quarter in game one against the Oklahoma City Thunder of the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRENow, the comparison between these Knicks and the champion Mavericks may not be perfect, but what made those Mavericks special was their team chemistry, and it all started with Dirk. Everyone on that team understood that he was the go-to guy and when he wanted the ball, he got it.

So far, that understanding appears to exist in the New York locker room, especially since ‘Melo is currently one of the top scorers in the NBA. But when Amar’e comes back, it is unclear if that acknowledgement will be maintained.

If the Knicks are going to be a legitimate contender in the East, Stoudemire will likely have to adopt the role that Shawn Marion played for the Mavericks and give Carmelo the freedom to be the true leader of the team. Whether he can accept that will heavily impact whether this team is championship-caliber.

Unfortunately, for Knicks fans, the answer right now seems to be that Stoudemire probably won’t acknowledge that Carmelo needs to be the sole leader of the team when he returns from injury. Last year Amar’e didn’t recognize ‘Melo as the team’s only go-to guy, and ‘Melo deferred to him at times when they were on the floor.

If that trend continues, then the Knicks' offensive production will be significantly hindered. Carmelo just isn’t as aggressive when he’s playing with Amar’e because he feels like he needs to get him more involved in the offense, and that makes the Knicks easier to defend. 

May 6, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire (1) shoots a free throw against the Miami Heat during the second half of game four in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 89-87. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIREWhen Amar’e goes one-on-one from outside the key, he isn’t as much of a scoring threat compared to Anthony, so defenders can lock down on New York’s three-point shooters. Meanwhile, Anthony is relegated to being just another shooter in those situations, which is a waste of his overall skills.

If Stoudemire were to come off the bench and spend less time on the court with Carmelo then that would probably help the team, but the best way to make this issue go away is for ‘Melo, Stoudemire or Mike Woodson to call a meeting between the three of them and speak up.

Of course, even if the Knicks were able to sort out an arrangement that kept both stars and Woodson happy, they would likely have to beat the Heat in the playoffs to win a championship, and Miami now possesses the team chemistry it didn’t have when it played the Mavericks in 2011.

But that’s what makes sports so unpredictable and so fun to watch. You never know what’s going to happen.

The Mavericks shocked everyone in the 2011 playoffs when they not only beat the two-time defending champion Lakers, but swept them in the second round.

They were lucky they ran into the Miami Heat when they weren’t as stable as they currently are, but if the Mavericks were able to beat the Lakers and then the Heat in 2011, then it is not implausible that the Knicks can surprise everyone this year and take home the title.

Their chances might not be great because they would probably have to beat the favorites, the Heat, and then perhaps the Lakers in the Finals, but they are using the same formula that the Mavericks utilized in 2011.
It worked then…the question is if it will work now. 

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11/28/12   |   Dream_Machine   |   13145 respect

LMAO... Are You Serious?

11/16/12   |   GeorgeMon   |   159 respect

Those are good comparison but the main difference, and the reason why I still don't trust the Knicks, is that 11' Mavs team was seasoned and hardened because of past playoff disappointments-- they were desperate. These Knicks don't have that same level of desperation. But they have looked solid.

11/15/12   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

The Knicks at 5-0 are already making me forget the 95-96 Bulls team that won 72 games. I'm convinced this Knicks team will win 73 games. They may be the greatest 5-0 team in the history of the NBA.