2006_01_smarburyhawks.jpgLet’s not get too excited by the fact that Larry Brown won his 1.000th game last night. Sure it is a nice achievement for him, but the other coaches who have reached it, Lenny Wilkens, Don Nelson and Pat Riley, all coached the Knicks and never won a championship. Instead, let’s focus on the fact that the Knicks have won six in a row, the latest a 105-94 victory over the Hawks.

The streak has improved the Knicks record from atrocious to terrible, but the impressive thing is the way they have won their last six games. They have started to play defense as a team. They have worked hard on the boards, outrebounding their opponents. Most of all, Stephon Marbury has learned how to thrive in Brown’s system.

Since the start of 2006, Marbury is averaging 23.6 points and 9.3 assists per game while shooting 46.5% from the field. His improvement has coincided with the emergence of Jamal Crawford as a sixth man and Maurice Taylor as a low-post threat. Put it all together and you have something the Knicks have lacked for a while; hope.

Photo by Adam Pantozzi via Tozzer.net