As New York Knicks tickets continue to be among the best-selling amongst NBA teams, the team and its perhaps more-famous fans are bemoaning the foretold demise of a Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire duo. Pundits who existed outside of New York warned of the dangers of putting two players on the court who can only play in isolation. Now as the first long losing streak of the 2012 NBA season enters its sixth game, the Knicks fans are coming to terms with the latest flawed team building exercise.
Fans have taken to celebrating the latest “John Starks-type”. Last season Landry Fields igniting the fanbase, giving them a working man hero. He, like Starks, was a second round draft pick. Now he is starting at shooting guard. The latest hero in the making is Iman Shumpert, a point guard and the 18th pick in last year’s draft. Shumpert is not a second round draft pick, but he is not a lottery pick and he has had enough success to inspire some group of basketball fans at Madison Square Garden to proclaim him the best point guard in the league.
That praise for both players may not be quite warranted in the basketball universe outside of the media vacuum that is New York City, but at least this gives them some sort of hope. Instead, the fans should be falling all over Tyson Chandler. He is the sort of glue guy whose production is far more valuable than his statistics suggest. He is averaging a mere 9.9 points per game, 9.7 rebounds per game, 1.38 blocks per game, and a 66.7 shooting percentage.
His most valuable asset may be his aversion to scoring anything but lobs and put backs. He also allows Stoudemire and Anthony to hang out on the perimeter on offense and defense. Imagine just how bad the Knicks defense would be without him manning the middle. For remember, Chandler may have been the most important piece to the puzzle in the Dallas Mavericks 2011 NBA Championship series win.
Of course, as the Knicks continue to fall under .500, the New York basketball fans are in search of the next big star to be given the task of leading the New York Knicks to their first NBA Finals since 1999 and the perhaps win the franchise’s first NBA Finals since Phil Jackson was a basketball player back in 1973.