Thursday, April 3, 2014
Opening Tip: Make noise in playoffs?
By Ian Begley
NEW YORK -- Tyson Chandler raised some eyebrows earlier in the week when he said that the Knicks could cause “trouble” in the playoffs ... if they get in.
"I always thought that we'd have a chance to really make it to the playoffs. And I still believe that if we get in there somebody is going to be in trouble," Chandler told reporters in Utah on Monday night.
After Wednesday’s win over Brooklyn, Chandler and the Knicks may have a few more believers.
“Without a doubt,” J.R. Smith said when asked if others in the locker room agree with Chandler. “The way we’re playing, especially on the defensive end -- making plays, moving the ball, making shots -- we definitely feel that way.”
For those who have been paying attention for most of the season, the idea that the Knicks can make noise in the postseason seems like a longshot.
Afterall, we’re talking about a team that started the season 3-13 and was 6 & #189; games out of eighth place as recently as March 3.
But the Knicks have reeled off 12 wins in the past 15 games, surging into sole possession of eighth place in the East. That run has coincided with Mike Woodson inserting J.R. Smith and Amar'e Stoudemire into the starting lineup.
Over that 15-game span, the Knicks have averaged 112.8 points per 100 possessions. That’s seven points higher than their season mark. Extrapolated over a full season, it would give the Knicks the top offense in the NBA.
On defense, New York is allowing 106.2 points per game. That’s right around its rate for the season and would rank in the bottom third league-wide. But the Knicks’ differential of +6.7 is nearly eight points higher than their season average.
In other words, they’re playing extremely well over the past 15 games.
Given what you’ve seen from the Knicks over that span, do you agree with Chandler? Can the Knicks be “trouble” for their first-round opponent, whether it’s Miami or Indiana?