New York Knicks
Coach: Mike D’Antoni
2007-08 Record: 32-50
Pythagorean Record for 07-08: 34-48
Offensive Rating: 108.1 (17th in the league)
Defensive Rating: 110.8(23rd)
Possessions per 48: 96.7 (2nd)
|Offensive||50.3 (12th)||.129 (12th)||.244 (27th)||.210 (28th)|
|Defensive||52.0 (28th)||.130 (17th)||.727 (20th)||.215 (7th)|
Roster (Red indicates new acquisition, Blue indicates rookie)
There’s only one player on this team who I think could be a starter on a contending team, and that’s David Lee. From day one, he’s been a great rebounder, and his offensive role has expanded each year. He’s undersized for the position, but his athleticism and extremely high energy level make up for that, and it also makes him a perfect fit for Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo style. Sure, he’s limited, but he knows his limits and he stays within them, something too few players do.
The other guy with starter potential is Danilo Gallinari, we just haven’t seen enough of him to know yet. He only played about 400 minutes last year because of injury, but he was very good when he played. He’s still young, but the physical ability and the skill set is there, and he should get plenty of burn this year. If New York wants to draw in multiple big-name free agents next summer, it’ll help to have at least one talented young gun on the roster, so Gallinari’s development is something to keep an eye on.
I think Nate Robinson can have a fine career as a back-up guard, but as the primary offensive creator on the team? Eh, not so much. He’s an explosive, if somewhat one-dimensional offensive player, but he just can’t defend anyone because of his size. He’ll be the primary scorer for them again this year, because there’s no one else, but I doubt he’ll be back with the team next year when someone will, undoubtedly, overpay him because of his scoring average.
You know, it feels like he’s been around forever, but Darko Milicic is still only 24. I know, he’s Darko Milicic. Still, if anyone can get decent production out of Milicic, it’s D’Antoni. If nothing else, he’s a decent rebounder and shot blocker who can be a serviceable back-up big man, and maybe D’Antoni can make something more out of him.
Eddy Curry made $745,628 per minute last year. Just thought you all should know that. You may now return to worrying about the recession.
I’m not a big Jordan Hill fan. There wasn’t much else for them to do in that position since he was the most solid pick available, but it’s certainly not an exciting pick. He’s a solid athlete with solid skills, but he doesn’t have great upside or anything in particular that makes him really special. I’m actually more excited to see what happens with New York’s other first round pick, Toney Douglas. Douglas is, first of all, a tremendous defender. Even while carrying a massive offensive load at Florida State last year, he still put in the work on defense to be the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year. He’s also an extremely good shooter, despite having to bear a huge offensive burden. He’s not going to be much of a distributor, but as a scoring point guard or a Ben Gordon-esque scorer off the bench.
X-Factor: Wilson Chandler – The last legacy of the Isaiah Thomas era, Chandler is actually a really interesting player. He’s an excellent athlete with great versatility and he’s already a top-notch defender who can guard multiple positions. He’s not much of a shot creator, and his jumper is pretty abysmal at this point, but if he can become a more consistent shooter, he could be a kind of poor man’s Shawn Marion. The sheer physical talent is there for him to become an impact player, but he’s got to put it together if he wants to be a significant part of the team going forward.
It’s a good thing this team doesn’t care how well they do, because this roster is really abysmal. Offensively, they’ve got two capable players (Lee and Robinson), Gallinari (we don’t know about him yet), a bunch of rookies, and a whole bunch of below-average to absolutely awful veterans. The fact that they were even 17th offensively last year was nothing short of a miracle. Defensively? Well, you could argue that the only above-average defensive player on the entire roster is Wilson Chandler (not knowing what the rookies will bring). The only reason these guys might finish higher than last in the East is because D’Antoni is such a brilliant coach. Of course, it doesn’t really matter to the Knicks where they finish, they just care that they’ll have cap space next summer. Unfortunately, the Knicks won’t be able to take advantage of the high pick they will inevitably get, since Isiah Thomas traded it away for Stephon Marbury 5 years ago. However, if LeBron is wearing a Knicks jersey this time next year, nothing else really matters.
15th in the East – Summer 2010, Here We Come!
BallerBlogger contributing writer ‘xphoenix87′ is a college student who dreams of one day writing about sports for a living. Since that’s not gonna happen, he’ll do this instead.