The Knicks' roster is way too old. The players are too injury prone. The pieces don't fit well together.
Those were common perceptions of this Knicks team coming into the season.
So what do the 'Bockers have to say to the naysayers after their surprising 4-0 start?
"Thank you," Ray Felton said with a wide smile after New York's win over Dallas on Friday. "That's my message: Just thank you. Thank you for the extra motivation."
Felton handed out nine assists in the Knicks' 104-94 win over the Mavericks. He added eight points, two steals and four rebounds; the Knicks outscored the Mavericks by 14 when Felton was on the floor.
"He was tremendous," Jason Kidd said of Felton.
Like Felton, Carmelo Anthony knew all about the naysayers heading into the season. He also knows there's a large segment of NBA fans out there who think it can't last.
But that doesn't bother him. He's said again and again that outside noise won't disrupt his focus this season.
"We ain’t really worrying about the naysayers," Anthony said after scoring 31 points on Friday. "We’re just focused on Orlando at this point. These four games are over with and we move on. Take it one game at a time. I’ve been saying that since training camp and I’m going to continue saying that."
The Knicks are 4-0 for the first time since the 1993-94 season, when they reached the NBA Finals.
SMITH IS SUPER SUB: J.R. Smith had another strong game for the Knicks off the bench on Friday. He had 22 points on 8-for-16 shooting, eclipsing the 20-point mark for the second time this season.
Smith is doing a little bit of everything early in the season -- scoring 17.5 points per game, grabbing five rebounds, handing out 3.3 assists and getting 2.5 steals a night.
On Friday, he had nine points in a pivotal stretch in the third quarter, helping the Knicks maintain a lead after Anthony went to the bench with four fouls.
"We need that from J.R., regardless of who he comes in for," Anthony said. "We need that offensive power that he has."
KNICKS RAISE MONEY FOR SANDY: The MSG Network and Garden of Dreams Foundation raised close to $200,000 in aid for those affected by Hurricane Sandy during a telethon on Friday night. Net proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the American Red Cross, among other disaster relief organizations.
Also, the Knicks honored Jon Candelaria of New York, and Dr. Pradeep Mally, Gail Geraghty and Erica Chong of NYU Langone Medical Center with this month's Sweetwater Clifton "City Spirit" award for their heroic efforts during Hurricane Sandy. The hospital workers helped carry infants to safety after the medical center lost power during the storm and Candelaria rescued a taxi driver who was stuck in a cab that was nearly submerged by water.