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Class of the NBA Show Knicks How It's Done In More Ways Than One

Written by Daniel Dunn

Needless to say, the NY Knicks have quite a climb ahead of them to compete with the elite teams in the NBA, particularly eastern conference rivals the Boston Celtics. From the opening tip, the Celtics took care of business, punching in with 17 consecutive victories and checking out extending that streak with win number 18, 124-105, tieing a franchise record. The 26-2 Celtics cruised to a victory shooting 65% from the field. The Celtics seek to extend their winning streak to 19 against the Philadelphia 76ers on tuesday night. 

WIth all the firepower the Boston Celtics bring to the table, an emerging young point guard, Rajon Rondo, torched the Knicks manipulating the defense all night. Rajon Rondo scored a career high 26 points hitting all 9 of his shots in the third quarter and making 12 of 14 in total, further proving that he is becoming a stable fit for the Celtics at the point guard position. Paul Pierce contributed 17 points to the win as Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen combined for 28. The leading scorer for the Knicks was Quentin Richardson, who scored 29 points.

One positive taken away from this record tying game (which was played a lot tighter than the score reads), from both the Knick fans and the New York Knicks organization, is that we had a first hand look at what it means to be a TEAM. From the unselfish passing, to the defense, the comradery and the respect, the defending champs are becoming the class of the NBA on and off the court. Seasoned veterans like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have taken the team by the reigns, holding each and every contributor accountable for their actions and play (Maybe even more importantly accountable for each other). The leadership has trickled down to the last man on the bench, as he is as important to the teams success as any superstar on every given night.

I hope Donnie Walsh and Mike D'antoni were paying close attention to what they we witnessing (though they'll get another first hand account at MSG on January 4). The message was heard loud and clear, stating that the Knicks need to get out of the shadow of thugs like Stephon Marbury and onto respectable, accountable players who preach  teamwork and accountability. Veteran free agents of the class of 2010 will be asked to man the ship and change the landscape of a locker room that has been in shambles for years. 

To say Knick fans are happy with the improvements in the culture and representation of the team this year would be an understatement. Yet, the summit is still far from view. Championship teams are crafted in the off-season. The hire of Donnie Walsh may be bigger than any move the Knicks are to make in the coming future. A good General Manager is the foundation of an organization. As he quietly goes unnoticed, success is reaped by the masses if he produces win, but if things don't change there is only one man to blame (Harsh reality of the life of a general manager). Donnie, you have a big process ahead of you. The strides made thus far have exceeded all of our expectations. Finding the right mix in the coming years can boost you to iconic stature in New York as well as propel this proud New York franchise to the forefront of the NBA once again (no pressure). However Mr. Walsh, though you have all the experience in the world and have a great reputation for being excellent in your field, take a lesson from Danny Ainge in 2010. Knicks fans are sick of the drama and negative limelight, its time for a team that can mesh well. A team with viable Veteran leadership is what this city needs. So you see Mr. Walsh, even the most tenured of professionals can learn some lessons from the peers now and then. Don't take it as an insult, think about it as a gift. Boston's GM Danny Ainge laid out the grand plan for all to see, just reach out and take it. Anything Boston can do, New York can do better. So in the words of New Yorks own Jay-Z, "Show me what you got."

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