The New York Knicks have throughout their history listed defense as a staple to win championships. Not many can forget the wars Pat Riley‘s Knicks used to have with the Indiana Pacers or later the Jeff Van Gundy teams actually getting into fisticuffs with the Miami Heat. We can bid adieu to those years after the Knicks acquired Andrea Bargnani and firmly committed to a more spread out style of play as opposed to the grit and grime of the 1990s.
They are content to let the new bullies of the league, the Pacers and the Chicago Bulls, muddy up the waters. Let those teams bully and try to push around LeBron James and the Heat. The Knicks are built to outscore opponents
They are adamant about keeping Carmelo Anthony at the power forward as the ultimate stretch four. Their signing of Beno Udrih gives them another penetrate and kick guard capable of knocking down the three and spacing the floor. Their previous usage of Amar’e Stoudemire suggests that he will just be a side piece to the grand scheme of things. The players they have designated to play center, Kenyon Martin and Tyson Chandler, are both pick and roll players who use their athleticism on defense. It’s like coach Mike Woodson and GM Glen Grunwald have fully embraced the European style down to their berets.
So say ‘Hasta la vista’ to the ways of the old Eastern Conference. The Knicks proved last year that they can win a division by spreading the floor. Now they want to prove to the world that they can compete at an even higher level. Good luck going into war with that with a fan base that is used to seeing basketball played a certain way.