New York Knicks Basketball - Watching the Game Like You Know

A brief history and watching the NY Knicks basketball like you already know

Madison Square Garden

Want to start watching basketball and follow the New York Knicks? To help you jumpstart the season, here are some key facts and knowledge that even hardcore fan may not know.

Before we get started, head to ticketmaster if you are looking for Knicks game day tickets.

The New York Knickerbockers

Since 1946, the people of New York have been filling up Madison Square Garden to see their beloved Knickerbockers, more commonly known as the New York Knicks, take the court.

The term "Knickerbockers" refers to the style of pants the Dutch settlers wore, who arrived to the New World in the 1600s, specifically to what is now New York City and the pants they wore that rolled up just below the knee are known as "Knickerbockers," or "knickers". You can read more about it here.

The Knicks franchise has a long history of winning: in fact, under the franchise’s first head coach Joe Lapchick, the team made nine straight NBA playoff appearances starting in 1947 with the help of future NBA Hall of Famers Harry Gallatin and Dick McGuire.

Although the Knicks didn’t have much success in their long playoff streak, the glory days were just around the corner.

Golden Years

It took them a few more years, but in 1970 they finally had a chance to play in the NBA Championship against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Knicks legend Willis Reed tore a muscle in his leg during Game 5, but the team still pulled out the victory to take the lead in the series 3-2.

Without Reed, the Knicks lost Game 6; however, in one of the greatest moments in Knicks history Reed limped on to the court in Game 7 and scored the first two baskets of the contest. Although he didn’t score the rest of the game, Reed inspired the team; and they won Game 7 113-99 to capture their first NBA Championship in franchise history.

Reed, the 1970 All-Star Game MVP and league MVP was also awarded the NBA Finals MVP that season; however, he certainly didn’t do it alone.

The 1970 Championship team included three other Hall of Famers—Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere, and Walt Frazier—and legendary coach and player Phil Jackson (most famous for leading the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers to 11 total NBA Championships).

The Knicks success continued over the next few years after their first Championship. Along with the four Hall of Famers from the 1970 championship team, they added Jerry Lucas and Earl Monroe; and in 1972 the Knicks made the Finals again; however, they lost to the Lakers in five games.

In 1973, the results were reversed; and the Knicks went on to beat the Lakers in five games to capture their second NBA Title in four seasons. After a Eastern Conference Finals loss in 1974, Willis Reed announced his retirement; and the Knicks would never really return to championship form.

Patrick Ewing Era

The Knicks wouldn’t really return to winning until they selected future-Hall-of-Famer Patrick Ewing with the first pick in the 1985 NBA Draft. It took a while, but when Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan announced his retirement after the 1993 season, it left the New York team a better shot at the Finals. In 1994 the Knicks made their first NBA Finals appearance since 1973 through the combined efforts of Ewing, Derek Harper, and John Starks. Unfortunately, the Knicks were unable to beat the Houston Rockets, losing Game 7 90-84.

New York Knicks Anthony Mason and Patrick Ewng

In 1999, after barely getting into the playoffs with a 27–23 record, the Knicks started a Cinderella run, making the NBA Finals again under coach Van Gundy and the synergy of Ewing, Allan Houston, Latrell Sprewell, Larry Johnson, Marcus Camby and Charley Ward; however, Superstar David Robinson, Tim Duncan, and the San Antonio Spurs went on to end their run in five games to clinch their first of many titles to come.

The appearance was special, however, because the 1999 Knicks are the only 8th seed in NBA history to make a NBA Finals run.

Jeremy Lin and the " Linsanity "

The Knicks haven’t made much noise since Ewing was traded to the Seattle Supersonics; however, in 2012 they gained some publicity due to the exciting play of point guard Jeremy Lin. In a phenomenon known as “Linsanity,” the Knicks surged to a seven-game win streak after starting the season 8-15. Lin was praised for his ability to facilitate an offense—something the Knicks had been unable to do all season.

Present Day (2014)

The Knicks have struggled recently, and this season does not appear to be much different. The Knicks roster includes star players and big names such as Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, and Amar'e Stoudemire; however, they have proven unable to win consistently. Hiring Phil Jackson as the president of basketball operations was a smart move, and Derek Fisher may prove to be a good coach down the road.

New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony considered resigning with the Knicks for a while this offseason, but eventually remained with the Knicks. Anthony averaged 27 points a game last season, more than even Kevin Durant, making him arguably one of the best scorers in the NBA.

The Knicks, however, traded Tyson Chandler (7'1), their big-man defense, so Andrea Bargnani and Jason Smith, the Knicks two other 7’0 players, will need to come up big in the center.

The biggest problem the Knicks have right now is their inability to consistently score with the starting lineup on the court. In fact, Quincy Acy (PF), Samuel Dalembert (C), and Jose Calderon (PG) combine for only 18.5 points per game. Going forward the Knicks will need a stronger performance from the rest of their starting lineup.

Amar’e Stoudemire is another player who has to step up if the Knicks want to make it back to the playoffs.

Early 2014, in seven games in April, Stoudemire averaged 27.9 mpg, 14.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg on 63% shooting. If he manage to keep these averages throughout the season the Knicks will be a good team.

Defensively, Iman Shumpert, has proved to be an above average defender and Dalembert is so far having a career year in terms on rim protection.

New York is home to Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony for years to come, hopefully the combined efforts can bring the Knicks back to the playoffs this year.

Now you're ready for showtime,