Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Knicks Top 10 Moments of the 2011-2012 Season


The last few images for the Knicks this season were not pleasant ones.  Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis suffering serious injuries in the playoff series against the Miami Heat, bowing out early from the playoffs yet again.  It leaves a sour taste in Knicks fans mouths, but that should not take away from the positives that the Knicks had this season.

Here is a list of the top 10 moments for the Knicks this season.  

1.) The signing of Tyson Chandler
The Knicks, it seemed, came out of nowhere to sign Tyson Chandler.  He was rumored to be going to a number of different places to play with the Knicks never being real contenders.  What a signing Chandler ended up being.  After finishing 22nd in defensive efficiency in 2010-2011, the Knicks finished this past season ranked 5th in defensive efficiency.  A lot of credit for that improvement needs to be given to Chandler, who averaged 9.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in the regular season.

2.) Carmelo Plays Santa on Christmas Day

Playing at Madison Square Garden is one of the best experiences a player can have.  Playing there opening day on Christmas, you can’t ask for any better of a setting.  The Knicks had a great start to their season thanks to Carmelo Anthony and his 37 points against the Boston Celtics, leading the Knicks to a 107-106 victory giving every Knicks fan a great present for Christmas.

3.) Linsanity Begins

February 4th, 2012 will go down as one of the most surprising days in Knicks history.  Against the Nets at the Garden, head coach Mike D’Antoni looked to the end of his bench and called upon third string point guard Jeremy Lin.  What followed is nothing anyone could have expected.  Line scored 25 points while adding seven assists leading the Knicks to a 99-92 victory that snapped a 2-11 skid the Knicks were on.  Lin’s outstanding play would put the Knicks on track for their longest winning streak of the season at seven games in which Lin averaged 24.4 points and 9.1 assists per game.

4.) Kobe Who?
On a night most people would think the Knicks would be outmatched turned out to be yet another big stage for Jeremy Lin to step up in.  Going up against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, Lin played what is possibly the best game of his career.  He set a career high scoring 38 points, compared to Bryant’s 34, and was serenaded by the Garden faithful with MVP chants as the Knicks pulled off a 92-85 victory.

5.) Linsanity reaches a fever pitch
On Valetine's Day, Jeremy Lin once again stepped up for the Knicks.  In a game that the Knicks had no business winning, playing poorly for the first three quarters, Lin came through in the end once again.  Lin knocked down his first career game winner, nailing a 3-pointer with .5 seconds left over Toronto Raptors point guard Jose Calderon.

6.) New Regime Takes Over
On March 14th, Mike D'Antoni stepped down as head coach of the Knicks with Mike Woodson being hired in an interim role.  On this night, the Knicks would blow out the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 121-79, which was the start to a five game winning streak and a strong finish to the regular season for the Knicks.  Woodson would match D'Antoni with 18 wins this season, needing 18 less games to do so.

7.) Melo Magic

With the Knicks suffering from injuries to Jeremy Lin and Amar’e Stoudemire, it was time for someone to step up and fill in.  That someone was Carmelo Anthony, who showed why the Knicks traded so many pieces for him.  On April 8th, Anthony set a New York career high scoring 43 points against the 1st seeded Chicago Bulls in overtime 100-99.  Anthony knocked down clutch 3 pointers at the end of regulation and overtime, willing the Knicks to victory.
8.) Melo Magic Continues

Scrambling to make a playoff spot, Carmelo Anthony once again put the Knicks on his back and carried them to a much needed win against the rival Boston Celtics.  Anthony tallied his second career triple double April 17th at the Garden against the Celtics.  The 118-110 victory also included a season-high tying 19 3-pointers, led by Steve Novak with eight and J.R. Smith with seven.

9.) Tyson Chandler Gets Some Recognition
In the storied history of the Knicks, no player has ever won the Defensive Player of the Year award until now.  On May 2nd, Tyson Chandler recieved the award and was also named to the NBA All-Defensive 2nd team.

10.) A Streak Finally Ends

On May 6th at Madison Square Garden the Knicks were facing their second straight sweep in the first round of the playoffs and 13th straight playoff loss.  Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire were not about to let that happen. Anthony scored 41 points and Stoudemire added 20 of his own to go along with 10 rebounds.  It was quite possibly the best performance the two put on as teammates, as the Knicks defeated the Miami Heat 89-87, ending the 13 game playoff losing streak, winning their first playoff game since 2001.

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