Though the Knicks are struggling, there is no denying how high the level of excitement can be when the going gets good.
Even with the team's ups and downs, there have been a few bright spots along the way as players fans love to root for have stepped up in big ways throughout the season.
As Knicks fans know much too well, the team's defensive intensity over the last few years has been lacking. Coming from an era in which the likes of Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, John Starks (and many others) intimidated their opponents on the defensive end, it's obvious many fans appreciate having a fearsome presence anchoring the defense.
This season, All-NBA Second Defensive Team member Tyson Chandler has become the answer to many fans' prayers, helping the Knicks solve some defensive woes. The big man has quickly emerged as a leader on and off the court. What's more, his presence has been felt so much so that the Knicks have won more games propelled by their defense than offense. As the team looks to steady the ship in hopes of securing a playoff spot, the NBA champion's experience and intimidation down low will be crucial to any sort of run.
Having a defensive force is comforting, but what's more exciting in Coach D'Antoni's system than a player who can make it rain from long range? NBA journeyman Steve Novak has finally seemed to hit his stride with the Knicks, capitalizing on his niche of draining shots from deep. With an emergence from obscurity similiar to that of Jeremy Lin's, Novak has ignited the Garden crowd again and again this season. His ability to fill it up on offense in quite a hurry gives him the ability to not only turn games around, but also provide that crucial spark off the bench on a consistent basis.
And who doesn't enjoy watching a rookie's rise as he makes a quick transition to the pros in order to help his team? The high-flying Iman Shumpert has not only excited fans by converting on a number of alley-oop passes, but has also helped pace his team defensively. Looking to change their defensive culture this season, the Knicks drafted the versatile Shumpert to help clamp down on an array of different offensive talents. The rookie has already guarded some of the league's better players, often handling the pressure like a veteran.
Chandler, Novak, and Shumpert have all had positive contributions to date, quickly making them fan-favorites in what has been an eventful season. Now, through a fun promotion between us at Knicks Journal and our friends at Steiner Sports, fans will have the opportunity to meet one of their favorite Knicks.
All three players will be appearing at the Steiner Sports location at the Roosevelt Field Mall in Long Island tomorrow, Thursday March 15th, from 6:30p-8p. The contest is simple. For your chance to meet Chandler, Novak, or Shumpert, simply tweet @KnicksJournal with your favorite Chandler/Novak/Shumpert moment of the season and a reason why you'd like to meet one of the players. Three winners will be selected in total (each to meet and receive an autograph from their desired Knicks player). Winners will be chosen based on the best combination of both answers (favorite moment and reason why you should attend).
As always, make sure you're following both @KnicksJournal and @SteinerSports on Twitter to be eligible to win. The contest ends tomorrow at 12PM EST. Good luck!