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Here we go (maybe not again)…the New & Improved N.Y. Knicks??

The New York Knicks are about to start their season. For better or for worse this Knick team will be playing with a new coach, a newly resigned star and new upper management. The change that has swept this organization is the first such movement to occur with the Knicks in many years; and it’s a good thing. Derek Fisher, our new coach, is installing an offense that has won eleven championships. Carmelo Anthony has lost up to twenty pounds in an effort to stay in better shape. Phil Jackson, with his eleven world championship victories, is in charge of basketball operations.

carmelo-stoudemaireWhile there are some positives, lets examine the totality of the issues revolving around the Knicks to get a better idea of how they should do this season. At center they have a veteran shot blocker in Samuel Dalembert. A serviceable former all-star who is finishing his mediocre career; hopefully with one last gasp of youthful athleticism. Behind him is the undersized but never outworked Quincy Acy. At power forward there is Amar’e Stoudemire. Stoudemire has been hampered by leg injuries that have sapped his once stunning athletic abilities. Seriously, he used to out jump everyone now he jumps up from the bench to congratulate others. If he can provide at least fifteen points and seven rebounds, numbers he put up as a rookie, then we should be solid at power forward. At least in terms of starters because as of right now our only other option at the position Andrea Bargnani is injured and quite inept at the intricacies of staying healthy. At small forward, we are pretty deep.

“This year isn’t about playoffs its about cultivating a new team identity ..”
-Justin A. Williams

Then there is our best players Carmelo Anthony and talented rookie Cleanthony Early. Both ‘Anthony’s” have a penchant for scoring and they will be needed to score since only two other players has the ability to score consistently . Those two scorers are at shooting guard. J.R Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. both have the ability to score from beyond the three -point line and the athleticism to drive to the basket. But only the second year player, Hardaway, has the desire to defend. Hardaway should start and most likely will. He has all-star potential and was a steal in the 2013 draft.


“……where are you Jeff Van Gundy, how we miss you?….”

-Justin A. Williams

At point guard there is another inept defender and potential steal from the 2013 draft. Jose Calderon, being the veteran acquired this offseason, is a deft passer and shooter but considers defense to be a myth rather than a reality. Enter Shane Larkin. He is undersized at 5’11 but is extremely athletic, defends, passes well and most importantly shoots well enough to space the floor.

It is important for us as fans to have patience with this team. The triangle offense will need time to work, but when it does it could be a real winner. There are some older, stubborn players on this roster that do not have a future with the team after this year. There are also some young players who could surprise and provide a foundation for a team in transition, yet again. This will be a tough year but if players like Hardaway and Larkin become starters and stay starters then we’ll know that our mini-youth movement is working. This year isn’t about playoffs it’s about cultivating a new team identity, maybe one that for the first time in over a decade (where are you Jeff Van Gundy, how we miss you) will last and be successful.

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