One of the sentiments in the headline above is true. The other is that the Knicks preach defense.
Former Denver Nugget J.R. Smith tweeted early on Friday afternoon that he has agreed to a deal with the New York Knicks now that international basketball rules allow him to do so. Smith signed a contract to play in the Chinese Basketball Association during the NBA lockout when state-side negotiations looked bleak and had to wait for his Chinese season to end before he could return.
For those of you unfamiliar with his work, Smith is a previous teammate of Knick superstar Carmelo Anthony and one of the single most freakishly astonishing athletes in the game. That said, he is also known as something of a gunner and has never been nearly as invested on his own end as he has been on the attack.
Smith's addition really makes the New York Knicks even more like the team they already were: crazy fun to watch on offense and Mike D'Antoni on defense.
As far as potential rotations or lineups go, with the emergence of Jeremy Lin, the signing of Smith and the returns of Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, you could see the following on the court for the Knicks at any given time:
1. Lin 2. Smith 3. Anthony 4. Stoudemire 5. Tyson Chandler
And that's with current 2-guard Landry Fields just resting on the bench.
Your Philadelphia 76ers still lead the division by 4.5 games, but the Celtics rebounded after a dreadful start to go 10-2 over a 12-game stretch from Jan. 18-Feb. 7 (though they've stumbled since) and the Knicks -- on the back of "Linsanity" -- just added yet another dynamic scorer. Doug Collins & Co. are also expected to be without starting center Spencer Hawes for the near-future; Hawes will be in a walking boot for at least the next two weeks.
With the Sixers about to see an increase in road games over the second half of the season and the Knicks and Celtics both seemingly improving, things are about to get a little tougher down the stretch, both in the Atlantic division and the Eastern Conference.