Thursday, December 1, 2011

Long Overdue....The Knicks Are Back!!!!!

2 months later then scheduled but the NBA has regained some degree of common sense and will be getting back to the business actually playing ball. With that being said it's time to prepare for Gotham City to get ready for our Knicks.

Last year saw massive change and a welcomed upgrade to the talent level of the team. Excitement flowed throughout the town but soon enough it became apparent that this team has faults and there are holes that need to be addressed. After trading away Felton, Galo, Chandler and Mozgov for Melo and Billups, our inside presence which was lacking before became that much more obvious. To compound matters our short lived playoff run vs Boston exposed the need for a legit back up PG and a perimeter defensive. Rondo repeatedly navigated 3/4's of the court unchallenged by Toney Douglas. And finally the a solid 6th man scorer to fill in where Wilson excelled would round things out ideally. That's not even considering how our new defensive coach will effect the things.

How we address these issues will require a degree of creativity. Under Donnie Walsh I'd have no concerns that this would be handled. With Donnie in a "consultant" role this year, I'm not as confident about what the NYK management will do. Every option explored will be a short term one as the bullseye is officially on the leagues top pg CP3.

Here's what I think (and hope) happens with the roster.

    1. 1st Rd Draft Pick Iman Shumpert will live up to the hype of being the top athlete in the draft and transition that to quality defensive play at the 1,2 and/or 3 spot. We don't need an all defensive season from him just pressure on the ball and allow back up Toney Douglas to grow as a playmaker.
    2. Amare is a PF. For whatever reason he is not a major rebounder so we need a center to do the dirty work. It's not the powerhouse position it used to be so my wish is that Knicks 2nd rd pick Jerome Jordan, who's playing well overseas will be brought in to at least afford us 15-20 mins of pivot play.  Other big men are too much of a gamble to warrant the $$$. I.E who's going to sign Greg Oden.
    3. Scorers are far more abundant in the free agency market. Already NY approved players like Jamal Crawford and Wilson Chandler should at LEAST be contact just to see if they'd take less to play in the still improving organization. Michael Redd is a crap shoot that if he were to remain healthy would be a blessing off the bench.    
    In regards to what system best utilizes the weapons now gathering at MSG I honestly a more traditional offense attack would be best for the Knicks. We dont have the pieces for a "MJ Bulls" Triangle Offense, but a low post/high post game with Melo & Amare should be common sense. I'd even go as far as to say that Amare and Melo could run the pick and pop effectively with both players having quality perimeter jumpers. A large question will be what new facets Laundry Fields has added to his game. An improved outside shot opens up a lot for the multi-purpose guard who was clearly thrown off by the late season roster shake up. There should be no issue with this team scoring. Now how defense will be brought to the fore front is the main question. Can Amare rotate better and not be caught with his eye off the man cutting behind him? Can the defensive boards be better secured from opponents? Will Billups hold up against the faster younger point guards of the East? Those question I can only hope and pray get affirmative answers. 

    Overall, the Knicks need to improve, period. There's more then enough skill and fire power on this team that by simply improving on last year and staying healthy should return great results. In a 66 game season does matching last years 42 win mark reflect improvement? It's a higher win% so perhaps. I think conference positioning will be the best judge of performance and I firmly believe the 4 slot is a realistic goal for the squad.

    In any event, as the Christmas season opener approaches things will get much more hectic before they settle into a definitely state.I can't wait to see how this shapes up.


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