New York Knicks Season Preview

You’ve Gotta Fight!

There’s a battle in the state of New York now. With the emergence of the Brooklyn Nets some people don’t believe that the Knicks, for the first time in their history, aren’t the number one team in New York.

It’s always been a Knicks-first town. For decades they’ve dominated the New York basketball fan base for a few reasons.

For one, they play in the Garden. Who doesn’t want to go to Madison Square Garden at least one time in their life, right?

Secondly, they’ve always had the star power that the Nets just didn’t have. From the days of Walt “Clyde” Frazier til recent years with Carmelo and Amar’e coming into the Garden to play ball. Hell, even LeBron James was apart of that history for about a week. The Knicks are where its at, baby!

Third, its the Nets! Am I right? They’re just the “other guys” of New York and always have been. From the beginning when they were in New York til their move to New Jersey.

Even when they were in the Eastern Conference Finals two years in a row–which is ridiculous–the Nets were the red head step child of New York.

Fast forward to today. The Nets have enough glitz and glamour to light up a ball room for three days straight. The combination of new owner Mikhail Prokhorov and the swagger of part owner and rap mogul Jay-Z has attracted plenty of attention to this team.

Oh, and how can we forget about their move to Brooklyn? They’re bold enough to move back into Knicks territory and are bringing some star power with them.

They’ve got one of the best point guards in the NBA in Deron Williams and they’ll pair him in the backcourt with Joe Johnson. Along with them will come a young up-and-coming center in Brook Lopez and some red-chip forwards in Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries.

The recent failures of the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony have people thinking about switching their loyalties to this newly formed Nets team. The Knicks are going to face a battle of supremacy–not only in the NBA but in their own state.

The question here is whether or not Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudamire, and Tyson Chandler are up to the task. When at the top of their games, that’s probably one of the best trios in the NBA.

If they end up behind the Nets in the standings at all its going to be a huge national news story in the sports circuit. It will probably be the most overblown thing ever, but because its New York these things happen.

Winning this city over is something that the Knicks need to do. They are a team that’s always going to have high expectations because of their history and their star power. To live up to these expectations means not falling behind the Nets. If they can remain the best team on the hardwood in New York they’ll be alright.

Identity Crisis

The Knicks have to find an identity as a team. Last season they really struggled with that and I believe that’s why the players weren’t able to gel the way that they were.

Between their most important players there are so many contrasting and colliding styles of play.

Amar’e Stoudamire and Tyson Chandler both function better through the pick and roll game. This is why both were able to flourish during the Linsanity thing that happened last season.

The problem with that is that they each occupy the same floor space. Neither one is a player that is good at creating a bucket for themselves or playing out of the post and feeding the ball.

Then you have Carmelo, the isolation king. Carmelo thrives when the ball is stopped and in his hands. He loves to survey the defense and find out where to attack. That leads to a slower pace of ball–one that differs from Chandler and Stoudamire’s pace of play.

The Knicks need to find out what the best method of attacking is. They don’t need a point guard as badly as many people think that they do. They only need a game manager there. This is why the move to let go of Jeremy Lin was probably a good one seeing as they’re already over the cap ceiling and all.

The best Knicks line-ups featur Carmelo Anthony at the power forward position. He’s, by far, the most productive when he’s at that spot. His numbers, brought to you by 82games.com, reflect that as well.

Carmelo’s numbers, per 48 minutes, at the power forward spot are amazing. He has a 29.5 PER, averages 39 points and has a .547 eFG.

That’s amazing, but then the question of what to do with Amar’e is there. He doesn’t flourish in any other spot besides the power forward one–where he was just about average last season. You can’t move him to the center position because you’ll lose what might be your most valuable player in Tyson Chandler.

Its a very difficult team to manage right now because of all the different personnel that the Knicks have. Next season, managing their roles will be key in them winning games.

Minute Allocation

The Knicks lost Jeremy Lin to the Houston Rockets in the offseason because of the poison pill method that they used to make the Knicks decommit.

They thought they had their point guard of the future for this team in Lin, but their dreams ended up being crushed. Now it seems as though they’ll utilize the old “point-guard-by-committee” plan and I don’t know how that will work.

The addition of Kidd and the return of Felton should do them some good, but that doesn’t mean that it’ll be anywhere close to or equal to the value that Jeremy Lin had for them.

Starters

Jason Kidd- 27.2 Mpg

Iman Shumpert (if healthy)- 30.4 Mpg

Carmelo Anthony- 35.2 Mpg

Amar’e Stoudamire- 32.9 Mpg

Tyson Chandler- 34.8 Mpg

Reserves

Raymond Felton- 23.7 Mpg

J.R Smith- 24.6 Mpg

Steve Novak- 20.3 Mpg

Marcus Camby- 21.8 Mpg

Renaldo Balkman- 18.2 Mpg

Kurt Thomas- 13.9 Mpg

Ronnie Brewer- 23.4 Mpg

Rasheed Wallace- 17.3 Mpg

Conclusion

The New York Knicks are a good, but potentially great, team. They need to take the necessary steps to take their team’s destination to the next level.

With the talent in their starting front court, there is no way that this team should be a first round exit no matter who they match up with. The problem is, they still have yet to find out how to play with each other. If they can do that then they’ll succeed in the postseason next year.

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One response to “New York Knicks Season Preview

  1. Another great preview, Mike, as Knicks fan I’m a bit wary of the classic Knicks team that you think will be great but disappoints. I love that Raymond Felton came back, I never wanted him to get traded, but Denver never would have taken anyone else for Melo. I personally think he should start over J-Kidd, but that’s just my opinion. I also love the idea of J.R. Smith in the Garden, even though he was with the Knicks for a portion of last year.

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