The Fundamental Truth

Knicks Can't Run Away From Basketball's Basic Tenets

ESPN's Aldridge thinks too much is made of such adjustments. "You can't reinvent the wheel here," he said. "Use your personnel to your advantage. Do what you're comfortable doing." Aldridge questioned suggestions that Camby could become more of a scoring threat if more plays were run for him. That could, said Aldridge, upset the rhythm of contributions that come from his deft and well-timed movement without the ball, upsetting the team's delicate equilibrium.

The debate is endless. The points and counterpoints of some of basketball's shrewdest observers could have echoed off the walls of the arena well into the Liberty's young season. But this Finals matchup, this thrilling Knick run, has unearthed no revolutionary new formulas for basketball victory. Instead, whatever the result, it has proved yet again that while money, media glare, and playground moves may have given professional basketball a scintillating, and sometimes sinister, sheen, it takes more than a stack of highlight reels and a cast of hip-hop ballplayers to transform the fundamental, if unglamorous, tenets of a 100-year-old game. Among them: You can't win without three reliable scorers on the floor. And that old favorite: Defense wins championships.

No matter how the next week unfolds, those mundane truths will serve the Knicks well as they look toward next season. Especially as they nurture their new-found running spirit.

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