The New York Knicks have had some first half of a season with a record of 23-13 going into Thursday. The team has had some good production from forward Carmelo Anthony, who is having an MVP-type first half season so far, and veterans like Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler have contributed as well. Currently in first place in the Atlantic Division, coach Mike Woodson has his team right on track and appears to have even become the new favorite in the Eastern Conference.
The heavenly favorite Miami Heat having their mid-season issues. Of course there were some concerns about the return of Amar’e Stoudemire and his insertion into the rotation, but for the time being, the man they call “Stat” has been a trooper and has shown signs of productivity coming off the bench.
Even though the Knicks have been one of the biggest surprises this year, injuries have played a big factor in the team’s most recent losing woes. Point guard Raymond Felton went down with a broken pinky on Christmas Day. The ball movement, which was one of the team’s strong points, has diminished all together since Felton’s absence. Coach Woodson has no choice but to give Kidd more playing time then he wants too. Kidd is noticeably slowing down having had to log in more minutes in games. The Knicks are 4-5 without Felton and have dropped 3 of their last 4 games. Marcus Camby has gone down yet again with a foot injury, and Rasheed Wallace is still sidelined with a stress reaction in his foot. Wallace seems to have drinking some sort of fountain of youth water, as he became a big piece of the puzzle, after retiring nearly 2 years ago.
On Wednesday, in preparations for their game in London against the Detroit Pistons, the team received some good news. There are many reports that shooting guard Iman Shumpert participated in a full-court 3-on-3. From the way it looks, Shumpert could very well make his season debut Thursday in London. Shumpert has not played in a game since tearing his ACL and Meniscus in his left knee against the Miami Heat in the first-round in the 2012 playoffs. When Coach Woodson was asked about his 2-year swingman returning he said, “He’s going to help us a lot. He proved that last year for us as a rookie. He brings a lot of energy and his toughness from a defensive standpoint, man, you just can’t measure that. Sometimes it becomes contagious amongst his peers.” There are also reports that Felton will make his return January 26 against the 76ers. As the Knicks appear to be getting healthy, we’ll see what this team is really made of. We’ve seen what they have done so far; imagine throwing in a healthy, Shumpert, Stoudemire, and Felton in the mix.
I want to take this time to share my thoughts outside of sports. I want to send my true blessings to my mentor and friend Calvin Hicks. Mr. Hicks was the headman in charge for an internship program located between Kingston and Fulton called Vannguard. He (Mr. Hicks) changed so many lives and made so many young adults like myself, a better person. I was a former student at the Vannguard program about 4 years ago and proudly graduated from the program in October of 2010. One of my finest moments I had the pleasure in sharing with him is when he asked me “Young man!! What do you want out of this program, I uttered “Sir I want to be a sports writer” He said “I promise you if you have faith in yourself and change some of your bad habits, I will help you become that. 3 years later, my dreams and his vision became a reality. I have nothing but the utmost love and respect for Mr. Hicks and his passing is truly a sad moment in my life. If he were here, I would love to thank him, for keeping faith in me when I didn’t have faith in myself. He was truly an angel walking on earth. Rest in Peace Mr. Calvin Hicks, you will truly be missed.