If the New York Knicks ever falter in their so-far undefeated season, fans will have plenty of places to ponder what might have been.
The Knicks are 4-0 following Friday night's 104-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, and are off to their best start since beginning 7-0 in 1993-94, a season which ended in Game 7 of the N.B.A. Finals.
And yet, windows into what the Knicks could have done, but chose not to do, are available everywhere.
Rumors of Jeremy Lin's demise following the firing of coach Mike D'Antoni this week were, well, wrong. On Saturday night, he scored 19 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out six assists in New York's 102-88 victory over the Indiana Pacers.(5)
With D'Antoni gone and a listless Blazers team to beat, Anthony goes out to 'play hard' and 'have fun'
An overflow crowd of reporters, the kind that had greeted Jeremy Lin during the height of his astonishing run through the month of February, gathered in the Knicks media room on Wednesday evening to hear a statement by owner James Dolan, who reportedly backed Carmelo Anthony over the Knicks' now-former coach, Mike D'Antoni, leading to D'Antoni's resignation.
In a shocking development in a New York Knicks season with no shortage of them already, Mike D'Antoni is out as coach for the team, effective immediately.
The way it went down has varied from resigned to mutual decision, but the real result of the move is clear: Carmelo Anthony didn't believe he fit in Mike D'Antoni's system, D'Antoni agreed, and the Knicks chose Anthony over D'Antoni.
With just over a day left until the N.B.A.'s trade deadline, it would seem to be time for the New York Knicks to make another deal.
They have lost eight of ten, and are currently tied with Milwaukee for the final playoff spot. Missing the playoffs, given the current roster and the highs experienced during Linsanity, would be a public-relations catastrophe and would likely cost coach Mike D'Antoni his job. Already, the long knives are out, with Carmelo Anthony in particular said to be looking for a way out.
It is officially time for the New York Knicks to panic.
This isn't because of any broad conclusions about Carmelo Anthony, or Amar'e Stoudemire or how the two of them play together, or because of any premature jitters about Jeremy Lin's ability to be a starting N.B.A. point guard. And it certainly has nothing to do with tweets sent out by J.R. Smith.(1)
Here is how crazy people have gotten: On a day when President Obama acknowledged keeping tabs on the Lin story, and Amar'e Stoudemire returned to Madison Square Garden after missing a week due to the death of his brother, and the Knicks were about to win the seventh straight game and get back to .500—the Madison Square Garden crowd was demanding more.(1)
Carmelo Anthony entered the Knicks locker room Thursday night, looking like a professor in his horn-rimmed spectacles, about to address the class of reporters swarmed around his locker, cameras and recording devices at the ready.
The boos came pretty quickly at Madison Square Garden during Wednesday night's 118-110 loss to the lowly Charlotte Bobcats, which dropped the Knicks to a 2-4 record.
They began as extensions of discontented murmuring when Charlotte repeatedly got to the basket untouched en route to scoring 30 points in the first quarter. They grew in volume as the exasperating Toney Douglas, ostensibly on hand to set up other, better shooters, instead launched ill-advised shot after shot himself.
The New York Knicks, though blessed with perhaps the best front line in the N.B.A., have a point-guard problem.
Starter Toney Douglas, still unfamiliar with many of the basics of running the position, took more shots than any other Knick in Sunday's win over Boston. Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, it is safe to say, were not acquired to watch Toney Douglas miss shots.
Former standout Baron Davis is still some time away from a return to health, with no guarantees that his back will hold up once he does recover.(11)
The New York Knicks, like most N.B.A. teams, still don't know exactly what the various parts of their roster are going to add up to. That's thanks to an N.B.A. lockout, followed by a condensed, 16-day preseason that consisted just two games before the regular season begins on Dec. 25.(1)