If you listen to some of the fans in New York -- maybe even some New York Knicks executives -- Marcus Camby ought to be starting for the Eastern Conference finalists Knicks.
The rangy forward, though, is coming off the bench at the behest of head coach Jeff Van Gundy.
And, really, can you argue with the results so far?
The Knicks, eighth seed in the East, beat top-seeded Miami in the opening round and then cruised past Atlanta in the semifinals to reach the Eastern Finals against the Indiana Pacers. Camby, a slippery and athletic scorer, is a major reason the Knicks are where they are.
He's averaging 8.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in about 20 minutes a game off the bench, shooting a healthy 61.2 percent from the floor.
Camby comes in for Kurt Thomas, sometimes in cahoots with his high-scoring benchmate, shooting guard Latrell Sprewell. When they come in, the Knicks go up-tempo, and the result often is a thrilling drive by Sprewell or an emphatic dunk by Camby.
Camby, though he's not one of the beefier forwards in the league, is one of the better defenders. He blocked 1.61 shots a game this season, 15th in the league.
This season was Camby's first in New York, after two seasons with the Toronto Raptors. He came in a trade that sent New York fan favorite Charles Oakley to the Raptors, a move criticized by many.
Still, Camby is letting his game do the talking. And, sooner or later, it may talk enough to get him into the starting lineup.