One of the beauties of social media is the friendships you can make. John Henson is a big time Knicks fan and he sent me this tweet yesterday, "#knicks have won 11 of 15, tied for 3rd in east, on pace for 47.5 wins w/ 1st rd pick & room for max FA next yr."
It was so spot on that I had to write about it.
Seriously, what more could you ask for as we speak right now when talking about the New York Knicks? They've drafted the franchise player in Kristaps Porzingis, they have a player in Carmelo Anthony who can still be a top 10-15 player in the entire league on any given night and they have a former MVP in Derrick Rose who is starting to show signs of his former self. They have a bench filled with players who can come in and contribute at a moment's notice and a coach who is pressing all the right buttons.
Moving forward, they have all of their first round draft picks if they want to get aggressive and make an upgrade trade, and they have three picks in this upcoming draft, which may be as deep 1-50 as the 2015 draft that saw them land Porzingis, Jerian Grant and Willy Hernangomez.
Speaking of which, lost in the "ball hog" mess surrounding Phil Jackson has been the obvious pipeline the Knicks are building from Europe and those players -- Porzingis, Hernangomez and Mindaugas Kuzminskas -- have taken the league by storm and elevated the Knicks to a much more efficient and successful basketball team. I think we can expect the Knicks to keep leaning on Kevin Wilson's expertise in the process.
Things can get even better for the Knicks if they can win the Jeff Hornacek homecoming game tonight in Phoenix and get to 3-0 on the five game road trip -- giving them some serious house money heading into Golden State on Thursday.
The optimism really centers around the recent play of Rose, who bounced back from a two game absence because of back spasms to post 25 points on just 16 shots against the Lakers on Sunday. More importantly, Rose was impressive physically and continues to get stronger.
In his four games in December Rose is averaging 19.8 points, four rebounds and four assists while shooting 60 percent from the floor in just 31.5 minutes. He's becoming more decisive and is taking (and making) good shots. He's clearly understanding that he can get in the paint whenever he wants and that's a great sign if you're the Knicks because it attacks the very heart of every defense, causing it to collapse thus opening up open shots for his teammates.
"I was really taking what they were giving me, they were giving me the lane," Rose said Sunday following the Knicks' win over the Lakers. "I was just taking shots I normally take. My confidence, no matter how many games I sit, is still high in terms of what I'm capable of on the court."
Every night you watch Rose you feel like he's capable of even more. And that should make Knicks fans, already excited by what the season has brought thus far, even more optimistic of what's to come.