Negative Forecast Motivates Knicks
The so-called experts have forecast a major drop-off for the Knicks, from second in the Eastern Conference to the second-best team in New York City, and maybe not better than the fifth-best team in the East this season.
“Great title, ‘so-called,’ ” Carmelo Anthony said. “I’ll let the critics continue to criticize us.”
Clearly, the Knicks are rankled by predictions that have them being passed by the newly revamped Nets in their own city and also in the Atlantic Division. Whether it’s because they’re not expected to be a good defensive team or have lost too much veteran leadership and 3-point firepower from last season, or it’s due to all the uncertainty surrounding what Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire can give them, the Knicks are expected to have a fall-off from the team that won 54 games last season and won their first divisional title since 1993-94.
“Games have to be played,” Tyson Chandler said after practice Saturday at the Garden. “I don’t think any championships have ever been won on paper. So I could care less where people have us. But anything you can use as motivation, you use it to your advantage.”