2012/13 NBA season previews: New York Knicks
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The New York Knicks have an iconic stadium in Madison Square Garden, a proud basketball history, arguably the best fans in the NBA, an expensive payroll, and call one of the greatest cities in the world home.
Yet, despite once again making plenty of moves in the off-season, this storied franchise will once again promise a lot, and deliver very little.
Three biggest questions for the Knicks in 2012/13:
Will the pairing of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire work this year?
Why would it suddenly work this year?
Barring a miraculous metamorphosis of skills, Carmelo and Amare remain players that are not very compatible with each other.
They both like to have the ball in the exact same spot on the floor, and Amare actually needs it there in order to be effective. They both love shooting the ball. A lot. And neither has shown a great desire to do anything else.
They are both sub-par defenders, which puts too much pressure on defensive anchor Tyson Chandler if you have both of them on the court at the same time.
So, no. I don’t see the pairing suddenly ‘working’ this season.
The Knicks need to trade Amare for a player that better fits with Carmelo’s style.
But considering Amare has undergone microfracture surgery on both knees, and has four years and more than $83 million remaining on his contract – which is uninsured because of his multiple knee surgeries – the Knicks will struggle to find any team that wants him.
It’s also unlikely that Carmelo will be traded, so the Knicks are stuck with an expensive pairing that doesn’t work.
Needless to say, this is a sub-optimal situation.
How do you rate the Knicks off-season additions?
If this was 2002 instead of 2012, you would rate the Knicks off-season as amazingly brilliant.
Alas, it is 2012, which means that off-season additions Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas, are 39, 38, 38 and 40 years of age, respectively.
All of those player’s best days are behind them, and what meaningful contribution they can bring to the Knicks – apart from the unwanted record of the oldest team in NBA history – remains to be seen.
Throw in the fact that the Knicks let Jeremy Lin leave for nothing, and I would rate the Knicks off-season as abysmal.
Is there any reason for optimism with the Knicks?
The Knicks have arguably the best fans in the NBA, yet to call them long-suffering would be an understatement. If they weren’t so boisterous and cocky every pre-season, you’d almost feel sorry for them.
The Knicks are the epitome of the Midas Touch. Except in complete reverse. Whatever this franchise touches turns into sludge, not gold. They are incompetently run, have the worst owner in professional sports, and the amount of large salaries on the roster means that there is little flexibility to change things any time soon.
The only ray of hope is that Carmelo Anthony is one the best scorers in the league, and when he’s hot, he can win a game all by himself.
With Jeremy Lin moving on to Houston, the ball will be in Carmelo’s hands a lot, and that’s essentially the only way the Knicks can win. Even Coach Mike Woodson all but admits this.
There is enough talent on the team to ensure the Knicks make the playoffs. But they’ll just be making up the numbers once they get there.
New York Knicks Snapshot:
- 36 wins, 30 losses
- Finished 7th in the Eastern Conference, and 2nd in the Atlantic Division
- Lost 4-1 to the Miami Heat in the first round
Statistical leaders in 2011/12:
Points: Carmelo Anthony (22.6 ppg)
Rebounds: Tyson Chandler (9.9 rpg)
Assists: Jeremy Lin (6.1 apg)
Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby, Raymond Felton, Kurt Thomas, Ronnie Brewer
Jeremy Lin, Toney Douglas, Landry Fields, Jared Jeffries
Career Record: 224 wins, 292 losses
Predicted finish in 2012/13:
- 5th in the Eastern Conference
- 3rd in Atlantic Division
- Lose in the Eastern Conference semi-finals
Ryan is an ex-representative basketballer who shot too much, and a (very) medium pace bowler. He's been with The Roar as an expert since February 2011, has written for the Seven Network, and been a regular on ABC radio. Ryan tweets from @RyanOak.
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