Ok New Yorkers take a deep breath …. and exhale. Now again. Deep breath …. and exhale.

Don’t worry I’m not going to ask you to drop trou and cough, but now that you’re a little more relaxed, let’s talk about the Knicks through a clearer frame of mind. (If you’re not ready for this yet, please continue with the breathing exercise until you are ready. Take your time. Please don’t rush. I’ll still be here when you’re ready.)

Ok, great. Let’s start.

I know this isn’t the team Knick fans envisioned a year ago. LeBron isn’t here. But the team you have today is vastly better than what you had a year ago. Last year you had David Lee and Danilo Gallinari. Now you have Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Be thankful you have Donnie Walsh running the show now. You still could have Isiah … and Eddy Curry. Your team is finally heading in the right direction after what feels like an eternity, but you still have to let them grow as a unit. It’s only been one month since Melo and Chauncey Billups were brought in. So relax, they’ll figure it out.

I know it’s hard when you look down at Miami and see what they’ve done and you want to compare where the Heat are versus where the Knicks are, but you can’t yet. It took the Heat an entire off-season program, pre-season, and the first seventeen games of the regular season before they began to figure it all out. That’s a lot of time to gel, get accustomed to playing with each other, and create team chemistry. They had thousands of repetitions to work out the bugs before they ever stepped on the floor for a game that counted, and it still took them a month before they righted their ship. It’s only been sixteen games for the Knicks and they’ve all been in the middle of the season. The entire flow of the Knicks’ game had to change with the arrival of Carmelo and departure of Gallo, Felton, etc. That’s not an easy thing to do, especially when Billups has been hurt and on the bench. While what the Knicks have accomplished since the trade isn’t remarkable, it’s not bad either. It’s on par with their circumstances.

I’ve also heard many state over the airwaves that the Knicks would be better off with its young nucleus still intact than they are with Melo. Please think about what you are saying. That young group was a .500 team in a weak conference. Yes, they were improving. Yes, with that nucleus, the Knicks would have made the playoffs. But they never would have contended for a title and that’s the main goal. The Knicks since the trade are two games under .500, but have faced a much more difficult task in meshing together on the fly without their new floor general in the line-up. With the current make-up of the team you have the opportunity to advance in the playoffs, if not this year then next. The Knicks now have an actual core to build around.

The other night Melo uttered the dreadful phrase “next season” when talking about the Knicks. Those weren’t the best words to choose in order to calm the fans and media, but, with our new perspective on the Knicks, let’s revisit what he said:

We’re almost there. If everybody gets 100 percent on the same page, it might take [until] next season. Right now, in this short period of time, we’ve got to come together as a unit and just check out what we’re going to do, and do it. As far as everybody jelling and the chemistry clicking to where we want it to be, it’s going to take some time.

He’s stating the truth. He’s not giving up on the season. He’s just trying to put it all into perspective. From the time of the trade to the end of the regular season is only a month and a half. To reorganize an entire roster, shift its focal point, and iron out the bugs in that short amount of time would be incredible. At this point the team is still a work in progress. It is near completion, but it’s not done yet. That’s all Melo is saying here. There are a lot of new and different pieces at work here and they’re finally the right pieces. If you have just a little more patience it will all come together in time. The wait for a winner is almost over. It’s almost over.

Now take a deep breath …. and exhale.