The New York Knicks can finally start counting their wins on their toes now because they reached the ten win plateau last Sunday against The Los Angeles Lakers.
To the casual NBA fan, they would recognize names on the Knicks roster such as Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. But guys such as Langston Galloway, Lance Thomas and Lou Amundson the response of “Who” will come after mentioning those names.
With a Knicks team having playoff aspirations at the beginning of season, that is now an afterthought in February. Being Twenty nine games under five hundred, the Knicks made some roster moves. Trading away Iman Shumpert, J.R Smith and releasing Samuel Dalambert with over a third of the season in the books; three roster spots were up for grabs. For a lost season for the Knicks; Galloway, Thomas and Amudson found their spots on the roster.
Galloway is no stranger to the organization. Galloway went undrafted in the 2014 draft, and the Knicks picked him up for their Summer League Roster. With his eye opening play in the Summer League, he was invited to the Knicks training camp. Galloway made it to the final cut but did not make the Knicks roster, but made another Knicks roster; The Westchester Knicks.
In 19 games for the Westchester Knicks, Galloway averaged 16.5 points 2.5 assist and 2.6 steals per game. With the injuries of Jose Calderon and Pablo Prigioni, it was time for Galloway to join the big league roster. With injures to the other guards on the team, he had an opportunity to play immediately.
His first game was against the Washington Wizards where he shot 2-8 from the floor. The next game was national televised on TNT and Galloway threw down in emphatic put back dunk. After that dunk, his play was on notice not only to the fans but to his teammates and the organization. Galloway is bigger guard at 6’2, he can run the offense as well as hurt a defense with his perimeter shooting.
Thomas started the season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He started thirteen games for Thunder averaging 5.1 points and 3.4 rebounds in twenty two total games. With reining MVP Kevin Durant coming back from injury and both playing the same position, Thomas was dropped by the Thunder.
The Brooklyn native made an impact adding size at the small forward. He is averaging 9.7 points and 3.8 rebounds. What is interesting about Thomas is that he is more of an offensive threat of the bench than Quincy Acy. With the Knicks being twenty eighth in scoring out of thirty teams, Thomas is a viable option of the bench. Thomas is also a better option on the defensive side of the ball than rookie Travis Wear, who also spends time at the small forward position.
Although Thomas is relatively new to the team, he already produced arguably one of the worst flops of the season as well as getting away with a double dribble in a Knicks uniform.
Amudson is the definition of a journeyman, with being on ten teams in his eight year carrer. Amudson started the year with the Cleveland Cavaliers before becoming a Knick. Amundson has been an end of the bench player but provides energy and other intangibles to a team.
His style of play is no different with the Knicks. Amundosn was inactive when he first arrived to the team but witnessed a blow out loss. When he played the next game even though it was a loss, you could see a different energy that was needed for the “New” New York Knicks. Averaging 6.3 points per game as a Knick, he recently scored an uncanny 17 points against one of his former team the Indiana Pacers.
What is unique about these three players that they were all fighting for a spot under their ten day contracts. The energy these players brought to the team have changed the atmosphere of the locker room. The pressure these players had of playing well but also learning the system and the possibility of being cut did not phase them.
While on their ten day contracts, they were inserted into the starting lineup. The Knicks decided to sign all three players for the reminder of the season. Galloway is the only player out of this trio to have a contract that is partially guaranteed for next season.
Since all three players being on the roster starting on January 15, 2014 the Knicks record has been 5-5. Although having a five hundred record with them on the roster, they brought more than just wins to the squad. They have brought the mindset of contributing to the team on both ends of the floor, energy, and a breath of fresh air to a foggy Knicks season.