NBA: These Knicks vs. 2011 Mavericks
The Mavericks won the NBA title two seasons ago. The Knickerbockers have designs on the same this season. It’s not silly thought. The similarities between that Dallas team and this Manhattan team are interesting:
* Tyson Chandler. The Mavs had Tyson Chandler as a defender/rebounder inside, who could catch and dunk lob passes. The Knicks have one of those, too. Tyson Chandler. He’s the Knicks’ most valuable player.
* Jason Kidd. The Mavs had an aging but savvy point guard who knew his way around an NBA court. Jason Kidd’s kids were gone, but he still was more basketball player than 98 percent of the young jumping jacks who adorn the league. The Knicks have one of those, too. Jason Kidd. He’s two years older, but his legs are no more gone now than they were in June 2011.
* A superstar power forward who is a matchup nightmare. The Mavs had Dirk Nowitzki, a 7-foot perimeter player who seemed to be on a mission to validate his career. The Knicks have one of those, too. Not Nowitzki — he’s a rehabbing Maverick — but Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks are using Carmelo at power forward, forcing big men to chase him around the court. Dirk two years ago also drew big men away from the basket and rode such strategy to an NBA title.
* A defensive stopper named Brewer. The Mavericks had Corey Brewer, though he was underused. He was what, Dallas’ No. 10 player in the playoff rotation? Brewer had his moments offensively but his real value was on defense, where he could bother the likes of Kevin Durant or even LeBron James for small doses. The Knicks have one of those, too. Ronnie Brewer, one of Chicago’s defensive demons. Ronnie Brewer and Chandler have helped change New York’s identity. When you have guys committed to defense, it makes the gunning on offense a little more bearable.
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