Here is a GIF of Knicks coach Mike Woodson after a Pablo Prigioni three-pointer in last night’s 100-86 win against the Nets.
In a vacuum, it’s a solid GIF. But when you consider the context — the Knicks lead the conference at 19-6 — it becomes an comprehensive illustration of how these first 25 games of the NBA season have gone for the team. Analysis below (via SB Nation):
[credit provider=”SB Nation” url=”http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2012/12/19/3786644/mike-woodson-knicks-nets-hallelujah”]
Let’s take a look at the elements:
The anticipation of the three, the joy at watching it fall. The Knicks are on pace to make the most three-pointers in NBA history right now. They’ve lived and died by the three to an unprecedented extreme. The range of Woodson’s expression here matches the defining play of the Knicks’ season — a three-pointer arcing through the air, then improbably falling through the basket.
Looking toward the heavens. EVERYTHING has gone right for the Knicks. Raymond Felton got in shape, Jason Kidd is making threes at an unreal rate, Carmelo Anthony has bought in to playing power forward, JR Smith is passing the ball. Even Rasheed Wallace has been solid. All good teams need a bit of luck to succeed, and that’s exactly what the Knicks have gotten in spades.
The meme potential. The Basketball Jones began calling the 2012 US Olympic team the “Meme Team” after they tried to one-up each other with funny pictures from London. But this Knicks team may actually be a better fit for that label. JR Smith is constantly doing JR Smith things, Rasheed Wallace got ejected for yelling “ball don’t lie!”, Jason Kidd wore a goofy headband, and Iman Shumpert has one of the better high-top fades ever. And Amar’e Stoudemire isn’t even around yet.
He’s so happy. The other shoe will eventually drop for the Knicks. At some point, they’re going to hit a slump of some sort. But this 25-game stretch has been universally and amazingly successful. Everything could change all at once, but this GIF captures what the season has been so far, and it’s all good.