Knicks Are Talking All That Jazz

The Knicks are two games over .500, and two steps closer to self-respect.

America has Barack Obama.  The New York Knicks have Mike D'Antoni.

That's the feeling after the Knicks handed the Utah Jazz their first loss of the season on Sunday; everyone's talking about hope, change, and revolution. This win put the Knicks record at 4-2, the first time they've been a couple games better than mediocre since 2005. It's a game that provides an extra jolt of energy for two reasons:

1. Defense: The Knicks held the Jazz, one of the highest scoring teams in the league, under 100 points. More important, after trailing at halftime they got back into this game with good old fashioned floor-smacking defense; a characteristic associated with neither the Lord Thomas Knickerbockers, or new coach D'Antoni. Giving up only fifteen points in the third quarter to turn a deficit into a fourth quarter lead, as opposed to getting hot and bombing your way back in, offers hope that maybe both parties have come around to see the light in this regard.

2. Competition: The Jazz are considered a Western Conference powerhouse.  A contender for the ultimate prize. The Knicks were off to a good start but had only beaten Washington, Miami, and Charlotte for their three previous victories, so no one was totally convinced they could compete with the big boys.  Now they know a little bit better. 

Of course the competition aspect is qualified because Utah's Olympic caliber point guard, Deron Williams, was injured for the game. But maybe the Knicks can argue they didn't play Stephon Marbury to even it out.

Regardless, for a team trying to distance themselves from their murky past, and get a new era kicked off the right way, this win should go a long way to establishing a level of confidence and trust in D'Antoni's system. 

Go ahead Knicks fans, say it with pride: Yes We Can!

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