Feb. 20, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire (1) reacts during the second half against the New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden. Nets won 100-92. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Everyone's back and healthy! Now what?

The second half of the season begins tonight for the Knicks and it will be interesting to see how the Knicks will perform with everyone back in the line up. They  have all the right pieces to compete for a championship; however, in order for this to actually happen, there are a few critical things the Knicks need to have in order to take that giant step.

First, D’Antoni needs to figure out who will play major minutes for the remainder of the season. The staring five (Tyson, Amar’e, Landry, Melo and Jeremy) will continue getting their minutes, but which players will get major minutes from the bench? The Knicks have a very deep bench and the list includes: JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, Baron Davis, Jared Jeffries, Steve Novak and Josh Harrellson. There are a few others who I did not mention such as: Toney Douglas, Bill Walker, Mike Bibby and Jerome Jordan. Mike D’Antoni has his hands full.

Second, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire need to step up their games. Well, I’m not too concerned about Carmelo’s game because he was plagued with injuries, so I expect him to step it up. However, Amar’e has not been playing like a superstar and in order for us to get to the next level, we really need Amar’e back. I do not feel that Amar’e has lost a step in his game, he just needed a point guard to get him some good looks. I expect him to come back and play well, now that he has two point guards who can get him the ball.

Third, Jeremy Lin and Baron Davis need to play well from the point guard position. Jeremy Lin has been phenominal with the exception of the Heat game and I expect him to continue to play well. But, he just needs to figure out how to get Amar’e involved. Not so much Melo because he can find his own rhythm. Also, Lin’s got a good rapport with Tyson and Landry.

As for Baron Davis, the Knicks need him to give quality minutes off the bench. As well as Jeremy Lin’s been playing, he’s just learning the game, so Baron’s experience will be critical down the stretch. If the Knicks can address these areas, we should be in good shape to go deep into the playoffs and hopefully, compete for a championship. What do you guys think?

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