Lucas Hubbard is a writer based in Durham, NC who really thinks Charlotte's going to make a run, you guys. You should follow him on Twitter.
Guys, the New York Knicks really have something special going on this year. And I, for one, am sick of hearing about the Warriors’ “Super Team” when the truly stacked lineup is lacing ’em up in Madison Square Garden. Call Al Harrington and Jeff Van Gundy, because the Knicks are definitely back, baby! I’m too excited; I just love what’s happening with this team. I’ve felt that way before, of course, but the good thing is this franchise has never, ever let me down. I mean, look at who they added this offseason at point guard: former MVP Derrick Rose. Man, that kid has a future ahead of him, although I’m worried about him trying to cut it in the big city. The bright lights can inspire you, but this media? Brutal. I can only hope he doesn’t come with any extra baggage. Not to mention the team found his perfect backup in Brandon Jennings. This Dolan guy really knows how to pick them! Not only was Jennings rookie of the month three times in the 2009-2010 season, he also competed in the NBA Skills Challenge! They don’t let just any warm body into that competition—you have to have skills. Which this guy clearly has. I could watch him lead the fast break over and over on my DVD player without getting bored. (If you want a DVD player, let me know. I’ve got a stockpile, and it’s the future of technology, I tell you.) Still, if you talk about the Knicks, you have to talk about the big man in the front office: Phil Jackson. The man is a legend; I mean, his triangle offense made stars of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan! You think you could put these hyper-competitive, genetic freaks into literally any offensive system and expect it to work? That’s crazy talk, nuttier than the notion that housing prices will ever fall. Sure, maybe you need the perfect personnel for that scheme to even approach being viable, but that’s exactly what we have here! I can’t wait to check them out every Friday night on ESPN, when I have the house to myself as my faithful, loving wife is uptown at her six-hour (and occasionally overnight) hot yoga classes. Just think about it: You have MVP Derrick Rose bringing the ball up, passing to Carmelo Anthony (top-three player in the league, on a bad day) on the wing. And Melo can either pull up from deep or dump it to Kristaps Porzingis (the genetic father of my child) on the block. How can anyone stop that offense? Those three players can take over the game at any point. I wouldn’t be shocked to see all of them start for the East in the All-Star Game this year. My boss thought so too when we spoke yesterday, right before we agreed that I should no longer have health benefits because they’re a “plan for failure.” So you have the rest of the Eastern Conference. The Cleveland Cavaliers are good. Really good. I’m not gonna say the Knicks are better than the Cavs; I’m not irrational. And the Boston Celtics are another franchise—an institution!—that has never struggled, like the Pittsburgh Steelers or General Motors. Honestly, I think the Knicks are nipping at the heels of Boston and Cleveland. Then you get to the playoffs and, hey, anything can happen. Look, I hate to make predictions. I’ll leave that job to the professionals, like Stephen A. Smith. All I can say, with confidence, is that it’s basketball season in New York, and the passion here never dies. In a way, it’s just like this cool new app thingy my nephew showed me (in which I recently invested thanks to a second mortgage) called Vine. It just plays a short video, over and over again, renewing and regenerating after each iteration, always ready for more. And the best part is that those videos, much like the Knicks’ glory days, will never die. ***