Fans seeing the New York Knicks wait and wait and wait for a certain free agent isn't anything new. However, seeing those patients actually pay off is new for New Yorkers. That's why Beno Udrih is probably the biggest surprise acquisition of the off-season for the Knicks in free agency. Now that Udrih is signed and has looked at the rest of the Knicks' roster he believes they can make the Finals this season.
Despite the New York Knicks having a lot of regular season success last season and securing the second seed in the Eastern Conference most believe repeating those goals will be more difficult this next season. With the additions to other teams in the East most experts believe the Knicks will be a fifth or sixth seed in the playoffs. However, point guard Beno Udrih believes his new team has enough to reach the Finals.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reports Udrih's confidence in his new squad going into next season.
“I believe our team can go as far as going to the Finals,’’ Udrih told The Post at Ashe Stadium in his first remarks since signing. “We have to think like that from the first practice. We can be very good. It all depends how seriously we’re going to take it."
“We all believe we can go really far. And our goal from the beginning has to be win it all because we know we’re going to be in the playoffs. Our mentality from the first practice has to be: we want to win a championship.’’
“I know what it means how to win,’’ Udrih said. “Last year’s team got a taste of winning and had bad luck vs. Indiana [in the second round]. Tyson got sick — a lot of injury problems. We have to stay healthy all year and it’s good we have a deep team. Some guys can get time off and still get a win.’’
Quite frankly, this is exactly the mentality Udrih and the rest of the Knicks are suppose to have. Last season's Knicks were good. They lived off amazing years from Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith and finally ran out of gas against the Indiana Pacers.
The team has plenty of built-in excuses for falling short of their goals last season. Their health was very poor last season and the team had almost no size to speak of to deal with teams with low-post games. However, this is the deepest team either Amare Stoudemire or Anthony have had since joining New York.
With the additions of Udrih, Metta World Pace and Andrea Bargnani this should be a tougher Knicks squad than in earlier years. In fact, with Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr., C.J. Leslie and Jeremy Tyler on board this should also be one of those rare New York teams that are both contenders in the present as well as prepared for the future. Why shouldn't Udrih feel confident?
The problem shouldn't be making the playoffs but making the Finals. The Brooklyn Nets, Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat will all have something to say if the Knicks make the Finals or not. However, the Knicks will have something to say about those teams making the Finals as well. However, those teams shouldn't stop Udrih from expressing his bravado about his team or clear joy for no longer being on a bad squad like he's found himself during his career in the past.
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