Monday, March 05, 2007

Knicks' Franchise & Starbury Awakened...At Last [J. Mark English]

Its a word hardly ever used around Knick circles anymore...but lets throw it out there. Could there be optimism in Knick land?

With a season ending injury to Jamal Crawford, people had already placed a fork in the New York Knicks. One week later, and a small two game winning streak has the town talking a new buzz about the thriving play between the once desolate tandem of Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis.

I was at a bar in Hoboken Saturday night, and maybe it was the beer, but people in the bar were reacting with feverish zeal for the Knicks. The bar was really into the game, and it was a feeling I had not felt for the Knicks in a long time.

Marc Berman writes in the New York Post:

After 61 games, the Knicks have come full circle. They are back to where they started in training camp: optimistic the backcourt tandem of Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis can carry them to the playoffs.

Marbury is playing at such a high level, on both ends, playing with such focus, such smarts, such resolve, that any pairing with "Starbury" might look good. But Saturday night in Atlanta was exhilarating, watching Marbury and Francis, ailing 30-year-old former All-Stars, take turns torching the Hawks.

The geriatric dynamic duo scored 33 of the Knicks' final 35 points in a 104-100 overtime victory that drew them five games below .500, into a tie for ninth place with Orlando and one-half game behind the eighth-seeded Nets. Marbury, playing 51 minutes on turf toe, racked up 38 points and had 72 in the Knicks' back-to-back weekend sweep of the Warriors and Hawks.

I know its premature...very premature...but could this be the start of something big? At least its worth watching... (GO NY GO NY GO!)

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