Now’s a Good Time for Delirious Optimism

Brian DiMenna

Are you excited about the Knicks? Because you should be excited about the Knicks.Carmelo Anthony,  Amar'e Stoudemire

For myself, I’ve been watching this whole season with something of a guarded optimism. I don’t know, I suppose it’s something about a decade of misery that had me waiting for the other shoe to drop, you know, the dreaded other shoe that once dropped leads directly to impotence and meth addiction, or something. I’ve never totally understood that expression, or why it is that the first shoe dropping is so much more benign, but I digress.

The point is, I could sort of understand the logic of the folks who acted positively terrified at the prospect of Amar’e Stoudemire returning, “He’ll ruin everything!” appeared to be the general sense. There was also just the discouragement that the Knicks couldn’t seem to get everyone actually playing at the same time. We waited out Shumpert and Amar’e, along with missed games from Felton, and others. You were just wondering if it was ever all going to come together.

And now it has.

As impressive as Saturday’s dismantling of the Kings was, I was already giddy about Friday’s impressive win over the Bucks. Milwaukee isn’t a great team, but they’re a dangerous one, and built with a backcourt uniquely designed to give New York trouble. To go with that, they also played really well, and it still wasn’t enough. The Knicks just outmatched them.

It’s amazing how quickly the narrative can change. It wasn’t so long ago that Amar’es return seemed like some kind of impending calamity, “It’s going to be so bad, they’re going to have to bring him off the bench,” to now sitting here a few weeks after his return and you look at the team’s play and think the Knicks are so good they have Amar’e Stoudemire COMING OFF THE BENCH!

Over the past week and change, Stoudemire has done everything you hoped he could, in ways you might have longed for but not even really expressed in fear of sounding delusional. He looks absolutely phenomenal, to borrow from the big fella’s own preferred nomenclature.

The team appears so complete, there’s few lineup configurations to complain about, and still the prospect that either Camby or Sheed could at some point come back to beef up that front line.

Which is to say, there’s no way to really pour cold water on how the Knicks look right now, though I’m sure some will certainly try. Sure, who can say what potential pitfalls await, an injury, some weird suspension or another Robert Randolph song, but for now there’s no need to just be happy that this is the best Knicks team in a long while, because it has the makings of being something a whole lot more.

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