On paper they look good. Seriously, they do. Veteran point guards, lots of scoring and defense off the bench, solid role guys, a defensive stopper in the middle, an All-Star wing and an All-Star big man. In arguably the most famous basketball city in the world, you would think the New York Knicks would be a little more talked about as serious title contenders. But they’re not. There are definitely some reasons for that (see first bullet). But to completely write them off and not take them serious… that’s not smart. Let’s begin.
- Big Problem: Carmelo and Amare have just flat out not co-existed well since they’ve become teammates (it’s a shame one of them doesn’t step up and take the Kim Kardashian route, file for divorce and go play with a way bigger star like Kobe or something). In games Melo and Stat have played together the Knicks are a disappointing 32-41, including 1-7 in the playoffs. Going into their 2nd full season together, you have to think things will get better. These guys are two of the best in the NBA. They’re too talented to allow their team to fall below .500. And that’s not even taking into account that they actually have a good team around them. I understand they both have their individual problems (on ball-defense, rebounding, iso mentality) but playing together should at least mask them a little bit. It just shouldn’t be this bad.
- Hardly Knew Ya: I understand Linsanity was awesome, but the Knicks did the right thing in letting him walk. It just wasn’t gonna work out with Lin, Amare, and Melo on the same team. While saving their money on Lin the Knicks went out and got two solid veterans in Jason Kidd and Ray Felton to replace him. Yes Kidd is a dinosaur, but in a 20 minute role he will strive. He will take the ball out of Melo’s hands and run an actual offense (Yes, the Knicks may actually run offensive plays now!). I’m sure Tyson Chandler was a big part in getting Kidd into the orange and blue too. I can only imagine the conversations they had this summer… (“Ayo J-Kidd. How’d you like to shut up ‘Bron and The Heatles again with me? You’ll be playing in the most famous basketball town in the world, be living in NYC, playing at the Garden 40 plus times a year. Come on, it’ll be fun…” “Well, since you put it like that…”).
- Bash Brothers: JR Smith. Steve Novak. Together. Once again. Sorry I couldn’t resist, these guys are just great together. They remind of me Willie Mays Hayes and Ricky Vaughn from Major League. Some big name movie director should make “White Men Can’t Jump 2″ starring Smith and Novak. Having these 2 gunners off the bench gives opposing coaches ojida just thinking that this could happen on any given night. I love it. Just another reason why basketball is awesome.
- Welcome Back MC Felt: I really like both of these re-additions. In Ray Felton’s case, no this won’t be the same offense as it was with D’Antoni, but his chemistry with Amare two years ago was awesome. If he’s in shape and focused (big if’s), I can see Felton being a very good option at the point for the Knicks the next 2-3 seasons. As for Marcus Camby AKA the lankiest, funkiest, baddest motha F’uh from Hartford, Conneticut… just 4 words describe what I’m thinking…
I’m excited to watch how the season plays out for the the New York Knicks. I think… no… hope the Olympics did Melo some good this past summer. He really played awesome OFF OF THE BALL and needs to understand to put the ball through the net he doesn’t need to hold on to it for 9 seconds, thinking about how good he looks. I believe that the Melo-Amare situation will work out and they’ll be much more of a force on the offensive end and better on D. Marcus Camby will give Tyson Chandler assurance that he’s not the only one protecting the rim (and speaking of Tyson Chandler, I have this weird feeling that he’s gonna pull an Ochocinco and legally change his name to Come At-Me. Random I know, but when it happens just remember The Dribble Drive told ya first). Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton will be a better fit at the point than Jeremy Lin would have been (Que everyone’s mouths dropping to the floor). JR Smith and Steve Novak will be the most fun bench tandem in the league and will do an awesome job spacing the floor. And the Knicks will make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, and The Garden will be rocking. Yeah, I went there. The New York Knicks, unlike their “new” jerseys, will be different this season. Expect a Knicks Heat ECF in 2013.