New York Knicks: 50-1

Whatever debate there was about Phil Jackson’s ability to institute a culture change in New York is over. He did it to a greater degree than anybody could have foreseen.
J.R. Smith has seen the light.
“Trying to think about the rest of the team over my scoring is something that I never really had to do before,” Smith told’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I’ve been in a position to score, [now I am ] able to take my time and allow the game come and let my teammates succeed more than myself, I think that’s the ultimate win.”
For now, it appears Jackson has performed magical, although transformations from the preseason have a way of reversing themselves as the year progresses.
Obtaining Smith to purchase into the equal-opportunity tenets of this triangle offense is enormous, and everything after that–figuring out how to coax defense from a frontcourt rotation between Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire, convincing James Dolan to maintain kazoos out of this locker room–should be cake.
The Knicks are not so far removed from a 54-win season in 2012-13. Jackson’s influence should help them get closer to this total compared to 37 wins they amassed season.
Don’t expect a championship chase–not until 2015 is sloughed off in by the bad contracts on the novels and Carmelo Anthony gets some real assistance.

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