Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2010-2011 New York Knicks

The goal for the Knicks this season is to attempt to not be a joke. That's all. Who cares about the playoffs? Just get off the late night monologues.

2010-2011 New York Knicks

Point Guard: Raymond Felton/Toney Douglas
Shooting Guard: Kelenna Azubuike/Roger Mason
Small Forward: Danilo Gallinari/Wilson Chandler/Bill Walker
Power Forward: Anthony Randolph/Ronny Turiaf
Center: Amare Stoudemire/Timofey Mozgov/Eddy Curry

Obviously the big addition is Amare Stoudemire, but the Knicks literally got rid of everybody on the team besides Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Bill Walker, and Eddy Curry's dead body. That's a crazy overturn, but warranted due to the Knicks' glorious state of sucktitude for the last 150 years. I absolutely love Raymond Felton as this team's fake Steve Nash waaay more than Chris Duhon or Sergio Rodriguez. Released from Larry Brown's general plodding-ness, Felton can potentially kill it as a tempo-pushing, pick-and-roll lead guard from day one even if he happens to be turnover prone. He sure isn't half the shooter of Nash, but he's got the speed, athleticism, and general unselfishness to still make it work.

Because of Richard Jefferson's underachieving self, Roger Mason fell off drastically last season for the San Antonio Spurs, but I still really like him lining up on the three point line next to Azubuike and Gallinari. Every single one of those guys can shoot absolute lights out; they've had 3-point shooting seasons of 42.1%, 44.8%, and 44.4%, respectively. Pretty sweet stuff. With D'Antoni's reputation of instilling a crappy revolutionary run-and-gun offense, all these shooters should be able to chuck plenty of opportunities. Just ask Quentin Richardson's previous NBA contract. (This is a failed joke; he signed his 6-year, $43.5 million contract in 2004 to play with D'Antoni and the Suns. But the premise was well-intentioned, so I'll leave it there with a self-enforced wrist-slapping reprimand.)

The complete unknowns here are how Anthony Randolph is going to respond to a prominent role. Will the increased minutes prove him as the next Lamar Odom-like anti-prototype power forward or will it expose him as an inefficient free-ranging lanky guy with no distinct position? If Randolph can flourish, then pairing him with Amare is an elite offensive frontline only cemented by Ronny Turiaf's relentless junkyard work and Timofey Mozgov's whatever-Timofey-Mozgov-brings. History would like to force me into believing that this team will absolutely blow on the defensive side of the ball ... and I guess I gotta just go with it. They definitely have the potential to be a gritty squad to compliment their guaranteed offensive proficiency, but when your coach mandates that you never box out or get into an elementary school summer camp defensive stance, I'll just give up on that hope. So I say all that to say this ... I will be completely baffled if the Knicks are unable to make it to the playoffs with this squad. Sure, they'll guaranteed to fizzle out in the first round since every other Eastern team actually guards people and pointless crap like that, but they have way too much talent to not break their 6-year playoff drought.

Regular Season: 43-39
Playoffs: Eliminated in First Round

... and do the John Wall.

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