Significant Off-season Moves:
-Add Ray Felton via trade
-Add Kurt Thomas via trade
-Add Marcus Camby via trade
-Add Jason Kidd via FA
-Add Ronnie Brewer via FA
-Add Rasheed Wallace via FA
-Add Pablo Prigioni via FA
-Re-sign J.R Smith
-Re-sign Steve Novak
-Lose Landry Fields via FA
-Lose Jeremy Lin via FA
I guess you could say the Knicks are in win-now mode, but man are they old. They have 3 players who could see decent minutes over the age of 38 in Wallace, Camby, and Thomas. They have a 35 year old 'rookie' PG in Prigioni.
The odd thing about the 2011-2012 Knicks, a team that featured a lot Melo and Amare with some Jeremy Lin, is that defense wasn't an issue. In fact it was a strength, their DRTG of 101.0 was good for 5th of the league. Credit that to Tyson Chandler and Coach Mike Woodson.
I really don't know what to expect from this year's team. In a perfect world, A'mare would come off the bench (or never play) so that Melo could be featured at the 4 as much as possible. Melo has been MUCH better as a 4 working from the high post and playing the point-forward role we saw LeBron perfect in last years playoffs. Maybe it wasn't so much the position as it was A'mare not getting in his way. What this would also do is get the best out of A'mare. A'mare is at his best when he is the focal point in the offense and has a PG he can run the PnR with (see: first half of 2010-2011 season). Throw in the fact that separating Melo and Stoudemire's minutes would most likely improve their defense, since playing them together means you have 2 weak spots on defense opposed to one, and I can't believe the Knicks haven't even considered trying this plan.
Alas, I just wasted a whole paragraph on a hypothetical that will never come to fruition. Because they are the Knicks, and Stoudemire is a 'superstar', and superstars don't come off the bench. The Knicks do, however, have a lot of depth and a lot of depth should mean reduced minutes for everyone. This is good because it should help their players, Chandler and Melo most importantly, stay healthy and fresh throughout the season. It is also good because it will give Woodson a lot of options to figure out what works and what doesn't.
I suspect this year will be similar to last- going small with Melo & Chandler up front surrounded by 3 pt shooters will work and their offense will flourish in these situations. Melo will be efficient and garner attention while elite 3 point shooters like Novak & J.R Smith will spread the floor and Tyson will anchor the defense. On the other hand, the Melo/A'mare/Tyson lineup will NOT work. The paint will be crammed on offense, Melo & A'mare will trade iso's and the team will be terrible on defense despite Chandler's best efforts.
2012-2013 o/u: 47
Under. Too much inconsistency combined with too much insistence to feature lineups that just won't work. I'm dreading it already.
the better the Knicks play without him, the higher the chances are. They might want to ease his minutes back anyway when he comes back so I'm hoping it happens. Remember JVG made Sprewell the 6th man back in 1999 when he came back from injury
Hitting his open 3s, passing well, just 1 turnover through 3 games,good hands on defense, still getting boards
Moving well off the ball especially when a guard penetrates. His 3pt shooting will cool off but still a very good fit.
Playing with confidence, looks as quick as I've ever seen him, attacking the basket, causing some chaos on D. Jumper looks good too.
Can still play hard D, including committing some hard fouls. Hoping he still has the 18-footer.
Never been a fan, and he's as old and slow as ever. Looking to shoot whenever he gets the ball. Hopefully he mainly plays garbage time so I won't be as angry when he takes 9 awful shots in 13 min.
Does not belong on an NBA court. The scary thing is he's getting a few crafty steals and his stats haven't been awful so far, which means he'll likely get 15-20mpg as the backup point guard for awhile. Watch the JR Smith highlight dunk from yesterday's game for all you need to know about this guy. He gets a steal, is two steps ahead of the two Sixers on a breakaway, but knows he's too small and slow to convert the open layup so he blindly flings the ball back at the last moment, which eventually rolls to Smith for the dunk. Then he raises his fists in triumph like he did something great.
Hoping Camby/Shump heal quick and Amare takes his time.