Yes, ask any NBA player on a team outside of the Bobcats and they’ll probably tell you the same thing: “I’m going out there like we’re gonna win the whole thing.” You have to. But for the Knicks, now that they’ve won six in a row, have the NBA’s newest sensation and all the momentum, a deep playoff run could be feasible once again. Renaldo Balkman hasn’t had as big of an impact on his return to New York as he would’ve liked, but he says he’s stayed ready to play regardless.
On the year, the former Knick, who was traded away and then brought back home again to the Big Apple, is averaging 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds for the 14-15 Knicks. But he’s used to this role: come in off the bench to give energy and defense.
I caught up with Balkman recently during the height of Linsanity to talk of course, Lin, but also his favorite spots to eat in NYC, what makes every player go harder in the Big Apple and also what’s in store for the Knicks the rest of the way.
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Dime: What was wrong with the Knicks to start the season?
Renaldo Balkman: It’s a lockout you know? Normally you start off the season preparing yourself to play basketball. But our time to prepare was short. Training camp was short. We had to mesh together quick. You started off slow, picked it up… But it’s all about meshing together. It took like eight, nine games to get all them kinks out.
When you start like that you never know what happens.
Dime: Is chemistry the only thing that’s gotta come together or are their specific things the team has to do a better job at?
RB: Not really. What I mean by that is it’s basketball. You never know what happens. A guy can go for 50 one night, 40 or 30, and then the next night get 20. You never know, on any given night.
We play so many games. If you go on a 15-game losing streak, but you win 10 more, you can be right back where you wanna be at. In the East, you can win 25, 26, 30 games and you’re in the playoffs. That’s what you’re playing for: The playoffs. When you get to the playoffs, it’s a different season.