As Mushi pointed out already, there's a very legitimate case to be made that it used to be easier to score. I can't find the article or the author to save my life, but I think it was David Aldridge on ESPN who wrote about this. The amount of high volume scorers in today's league is incredibly lower compared to even ten years ago. Mushi mentioned it too zone defenses have posed the best explanation for the drop-off. That's not to say you're wrong Johnno, but there's also the other case that provides for some interesting discussion.
I completely agree with your points on the aging veterans, and I like the way you've written the piece. It's very persuasive and deals quite systematically with the different arguments that have been presented. I think the Knicks have done as well as they possibly could have this season with their list, their competition and the free agency market. Looking back, there wasn't a lot of 'home-run' deals a team as cap-stricken as the Knicks could have made. I think they've been handicapped from the start with ASTAT's exorbitant contract, and with Miami in your conference, that's practically death in the NBA. The Felton>Lin deal obviously is a bit of a bust, that's classic James Doolan at work. However, I don't blame for the Knicks for looking to reshuffle the deck instead of investing in a future core of 'Toney Douglas, Josh Harrelson and Jerome Jordan'. Should they have traded for Camby? Debatable. I'd think not.
Glancing over at the free agency list of 2012 again, I'd say the Knicks would have been better pursuing guys such as D.J. Augustin (Indiana), Andray Blatche (Brooklyn), Carlos Delfino (Houston), Patty Mills (San Antonio) or Nick Young (Philadelphia). You're right in that they were completely ignorant, or just risky, in banking on so many old players; however the answer for New York isn't clear cut. They're in middle ground right now, the worst place in the world for an NBA team. I wouldn't be against considering detonating the Melo/Amar'e era to clear cap space for a 2014 Free Agency splash.
Like many Lleyton Hewitt fans, I watch some of current matches and cringe as he helplessly falls short of balls he could have moonwalked to 5-10 years ago, but it's not our place to tell him to retire.
The constant example people use, and is in this article, is Andy Roddick who bowed out at 29 because he realised he couldn't win Grand Slams anymore. And that's great, I respect Roddick deeply. But Lleyton Hewitt isn't still here because he thinks he can win every Grand Slam (though he plays like he does, and that's brilliant). He's playing tennis because he still loves the game, and knows that when he retires he won't be able to do this anymore. Who are we to tell him to stop? Because we expect him to rediscover some lost form from years ago? Whether or not he can still make the Top 32 when healthy is irrelevant to this point, his playing career shouldn't be dictated by whether or not he's meeting our expectations of him. Let him decide when he doesn't love tennis.