It has been an extremely trying time for everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy. While a lot of people were impacted by the treacherous storm, the Tri-State area was hit especially hard. It was without question one of the worst disasters that mother nature has ever inflicted upon the Northeast. In a time when people have lost many of their belongings, some even their lives, all of us in the Tri-State area needed something to lift our spirits. In times of depression, many people turn to sports to distract themselves from their hardships. Knowing this, the New York Knicks made it their mission to make sure they didn’t give New Yorkers more to be upset about.
The New York Knicks were supposed to start their regular season last Thursday against their new inner-city rivals, the Brooklyn Nets. Unfortunately for fans of each of those teams, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the city so badly that Mayor Bloomberg and the NBA decided to postpone the game until later in the season. The Knicks second game was scheduled for the next day and was a match up against the defending NBA Champions, the Miami Heat. While a lot of people thought the game was going to be cancelled, the Mayor decided that Manhattan had recovered enough to go through with it and have the Knicks and Heat battle it out to open New York’s regular season. No one in their right mind would ever want to start their season facing the clear best team in the NBA, but the Knicks had a city to defend and something truly special cause to play for.
Before the opening tip, Carmelo Anthony addressed the crowd and showed his and the Knicks support for all of those affected by the storm. While his speech was short, it was very effective and got the crowd roaring. From the jump ball to start the game until the final buzzer, the Knicks had a fire in their eyes that I haven’t seen since the days of Ewing and Starks. There was no way they were going to lose this game. Not only were they going to beat the defending Champs, but they were going to obliterate them in front of a sold out arena that wouldn’t stop shaking in excitement. Carmelo led the team with 30 points but the game was the true definition of a full team effort. There are a lot of new faces on the Knicks squad this year and every single one of them made an impact to make this game one of the most entertaining and fulfilling opening nights I have ever witnessed.
Two days later, the Knickerbockers had another game at home against one of their division rivals, the Philadelphia 76ers. Once again, the arena known as the Mecca of basketball was sold out and the crowd was going nuts before the game even started. As a matter of fact, the Knicks got penalized during the camaraderie with a delay of game warning due to the new rule about being ready for tip off within 90 seconds of the lineup announcements (https://sports-debaters.com/2012/10/17/rules-are-made-to-be-broken/). The Knicks came out firing and like their game against the Heat, New York seemed to be hitting anything they threw up. From Carmelo in the post to Novak behind the arc, the Knicks scored in a plethora of ways. Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd, with a little help from Pablo Prigioni, had Knicks fans easily remove Linsanity from their minds with precision passing and quality ball control only seen on winning teams.
The Knicks third game of season was the following night, once again against the 76ers in the second game of a home-and-home. This was the first Knicks road game of the season and to quote my man Walt Clyde Frazier, they came out with some “tenacious defense” and were “wheeling and dealing” on offense. This game started a little differently for the Knicks as they found themselves down 10 early on and looked slightly sluggish. Their struggles lasted merely a few minutes because they started popping from deep and quickly took the lead. Once they had their lead they never relinquished it as they went on to win for the third straight game. Not only was this the Knicks third in in a row but it was their third straight win by more than 15 points, which they had never done in their history of season starting.
So as the Knicks sit at 3-0 and have to wait until Friday to play their fourth game, there are many questions that linger over them. Are the Knicks truly as good as they looked in their first three games? Will they still be playing this well once Amare Stoudemire returns from his most recent injury? Should Knicks fans be getting excited about their early success? Is it too soon to celebrate? Regardless of what you think, I for one am thrilled about how the Knicks have opened the season and really do appreciate how they have been able to divert my attention during a truly trying time. LET’S GO KNICKS!!!