After acquiring Stephon Marbury, Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway and Moochie Norris in exchange for Antonio “McNice” McDyess and other no-names, the New York Knicks haven’t had a team with this much talent since the days of Earl “Black Jesus” Monroe.
They have arguably the best backcourt in the league, with the Lakers as their only real competition. And with Marbury (18.3 points and 11.5 assists with the Knicks), Allan Houston (20.3 points) and Keith Van Horn (17 points and seven boards), they have the best 1-2-3 punch in the league.
When you throw in power forward Kurt Thomas (11.7 and 9.1) and center Dikembe Mutombo, you are talking about one heck of a starting lineup, and don’t let me get started on the bench. So instead of me wasting my space, check out the roster.
The Knicks are by far the best team in the Eastern conference. I wanted to take my comparison out West, but just to humiliate my adversary -who will probably steer away from the facts and use catchy phrases for his argument- I will compare the Knicks to the team with the best record in the East, the Indiana Pacers.
It’s obvious who has a better backcourt, so I’ll just leave it at that. Also, I would rather have Mutombo than whatever bum they put at center. And while the Pacers have a big advantage at the four with Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, who averages 18 points per game, is not that much better than Van Horn.
The thing that makes the Knicks great is that they are experienced from head to toe and led by a winner, Lenny Wilkens. Six out of the 10 Knicks players who get burn have not only competed in the playoffs, but also played in the NBA Finals. How many teams in the Eastern Conference can boast of experience like this? Not the Pacers!
The key to the Knicks success will be Marbury, as he will lead them to the Finals. And I’m sure about that even though Marbury has never made his way deep into the playoffs. Marbury will dominate Baron Davis and Jason Kidd in the playoffs and prove to all without a shadow of doubt that he is the best point guard in the league.
Michael Jordan took several years to get a team around him so he could win a title, Marbury will be no different. The Garden will be watered with basketball in June!
Ibram Rogers, is a senior newspaper journalism student from Manassas, Va. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org