It’s been more than a year to remember for the Knicks, who patiently await their first round matchup with Boston and look to finally slay the dragon with a first round win. I have no complaints about this season, as it was probably the most exciting season, from start to finish, since the early 2000’s. I have compiled the top 10 moments, in my opinion, from the Knicks’ great regular season. With the help from a few fans in the Twitter community, these moments have been ranked 1-10. Thanks to my buddy CJ (@CeeJeyEff) for helping me run down a few key moments this season that made it onto the list.
10. Amar’e Stoudemire’s season debut
Before a second knee debridement, STAT was one of the top performing post-presences in the league, shooting insane clips from the field, and being an offensive juggernaut for the Knicks. His season debut (vs. Portland) was highly anticipated and one of the warmest receptions the MSG faithful have given out all year.
9. JR Smith cleared for take off
Looking back, I’m still wondering how it was physically possible to catch the lob smith caught and get the ball above the rim all while facing the other way. Smith’s monster alley-oop is definitely in contention for alley-oop of the year, if there is such an award.
8. Knicks beat Miami IN Miami WITHOUT Melo
Most critics put an asterisk next to the Knicks first win of the season against Miami due to super storm Sandy and the Heat not having the “mindset” to play basketball. There was no excuse when the Knicks traveled to South Beach in early December for a rematch against the defending champs. The Heat were beaten by 20 points for the second time in both meetings so far and could not contain another 3pt barrage, giving up 18 three pointers on their home floor.
7.JR Smith salsas after game winning buzzer-beater vs. Charlotte
Smith took a page from Victor Cruz on a night where the spotlight was solely his. Carmelo Anthony missed this game with a lacerated finger, which almost led to a loss to a sub-par opponent. But Smith stole the show in the final seconds, something that was sort of a trend this season.
6. Melo scores 50 in Miami
Yes, there was no LeBron James. Or Dwayne Wade. But there also was not one Heat player able of containing Carmelo Anthony and his hot hand. Anthony’s 50 points led to a scoring rampage over the next few weeks.
5. Smith beats the buzzer, AGAIN
Just when we thought we had saw enough salsa-ing, JR was at it again. Ironically, without Anthony again, Smith lifted the depleted Knicks to a big road win against Phoenix in the final seconds.
4. Knicks win in San Antonio
For the first time in 10 years, the Knicks won a game in San Antonio, and this one was a barnburner. Behind Felton’s 25points and two huge go-ahead threes from Jason Kidd and JR Smith, the Knicks picked up a huge road win early in the season that got a lot of people talking about the Knicks being a serious threat.
3. Anthony makes history with 30 straight 20-point games
Anthony broke Richie Guerin’s former regular season record of 29 straight games with 20 points or more against the Orlando Magic on exactly 20 points.
2. Kurt Thomas ignites a 13-game winning streak
With all the euphoria the Knicks brought along with 13 straight, including a biggie against Oklahoma City, let it be known that Kurt Thomas’ 26 minutes against Utah after a terrible road trip was the spark that lit the fire under the Knicks, and who’s injury resurrected Kenyon Martin. Props to you, Mr. Kurt, no one expected him to play 20+ minutes at all this season, and when his number was called with all other big men absent, he answered, like the true professional he is.
1. Knicks win the Atlantic division for the first time since ’93-‘94
It took the Knicks 19 years to regain supremacy in their division, and how sweet it was. This was the first goal out of the gate that Mike Woodson had set for the Knicks, and it was great seeing them accomplish a team goal reiterated all season long.