Phil Jackson’s entire NBA career has been defined by winning, as noted by his 11 combined NBA championships as head coach of the Jordan Bulls and Shaq/Kobe Lakers. Now, as he is a member of the Knicks’ front office, he will look to bring that success to the Big Apple, and his team got off to a solid start last night.
New York, winning its seventh game in a row and moving just four games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, beat down the Indiana Pacers at MSG on national television on Wednesday, beginning Jackson’s presidency of the team in the best way possible. Granted, the Pacers have ceded some ground to second place Miami in recent weeks, but they still hold the best record in the East and are already at 50 wins.
Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points in the big victory, a day after Jackson re-affirmed that the superstar was certainly a big part of New York’s future plans. Amar’e Stoudamire even added 21 points himself, demonstrating just how dominant he and Melo can be when both are healthy and playing smart and unselfish basketball.
It is just one win, and they still are a significant distance from that elusive final playoff spot, but with their next four games against teams with sub-.500 records, it’s not totally crazy that the Knicks could sneak into the postseason in place of the fading Hawks. Phil Jackson has done crazier things during his time in the NBA, and with him in charge, New York might be able to do the same.