Second String Saviors?

The Knicks Place Their Fate in the Hands of Their Bench Players

Therein lies the hope for a Knicks team that, despite its recent successes, is still in the process of finding itself. The crowds go wild and the cameras roll when the bench players start flying high above the rim, but things really get going when the team plays together.

To that end, Childs is troubled by recent reports of intrateam social divisions. "I don't know why the clique thing was brought up," Childs says of a supposed divide between the devoutly religious players like Ward, Houston, and Dudley and other Knicks. "Some guys go to Bible study, some guys don't," Childs says. "That has nothing to do with cliques. Dud'll go to the mall with me. Or Spree. It doesn't matter."

More than likely, the Knicks will need a little divine guidance to go along with their new uptempo style to conquer the Pacers. Their second unit can put quick points on the board, sure, but they'll also need to stop Indiana from getting easy buckets and second chances. If they remember to stay home on D before springing down the floor, a trip to the Finals may be the offing. The Knicks might not all be up on their scripture, but they are pretty much on the same page, and therefore, they have a prayer.

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