LY W-L: 54-28
Key Additions: Andrea Bargnani, Metta World Peace, Tim Hardaway Jr, C.J. Leslie
Key Departures: Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, Chris Copeland, Jason Kidd
Analysis: The 2012-2013 season for the Knickerbockers was the one of their most successful in recent memory — arguably since the 1999-2000 season. They decimated opponents with three-point shooting, brisk passing around the perimeter, and having one of the best scorers in the world.
The Knicks made a very “Knicks” like trade — giving up three picks, Steve Novak and Marcus Camby to Toronto for Andrea Bargnani. There’s nothing wrong with dumping the corpses of Camby and Novak, but giving up three picks is puzzling when New York had a lot of leverage to receive more than just Bargnani. The former number one pick of the ’06 draft is somewhat productive offensively when healthy, nevertheless he’s a weak rebounder and a horrific weak-side/help defender. Former teammate Alan Anderson says Bargnani needed new scenery, but I don’t think new scenery will help him become a suitable rebounder and defender.
Metta World Peace decided he wanted to come back to his home roots and play for New York. Formerly known as Ron Artest, took a minimum deal after clearing waivers. The former St. John’s star supplies the Knicks with another sniper behind the arc — shot 36% from the corners. He’s an obvious plus on the defensive side of the floor and combine him with Iman is definitely strong.
The most important signings for New York in my opinion was retaining Pablo Prignoni and Kenyon Martin. The Knicks were 13-5 when Kenyon played and he averaged 7.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 18 regular season games. Prignoni was masterful for the Knicks’ offense even though he didn’t put up eye-popping stats. When Prignoni is on the floor, the three point shooting percentage is 40%, and it goes down to a league average, 36% with him off the court.
Even with Iman and Metta handling the perimeter defensive duties, the foundation of the defense is Tyson Chandler. Chandler is responsible for directing traffic on defense — calling out screens, pick ‘n rolls, and defending the rim. The 2012 Defensive Player of the Year was average against Boston and in the conference semis against Indiana, was slaughtered by Roy Hibbert. No one is sure if Tyson is diminishing or if he was still recovering from his neck injury. Tyson must return to his 2012 form for New York to progress defensively.
Carmelo Anthony won his first scoring title, totaling 28.7 points per contest. It’s always a perk having one of three best scorers on your team. A long-ago scoring machine, Amare Stoudemire, is hoping to return this season healthy and at a full form. Hopefully Amare accepts a full-time bench rotation because he’s defensive liability and no longer a dominant pick ‘n roll player.
The Knicks added much-needed youth in the draft. With their first round pick, they selected shooting guard, Tim Hardaway J.R. and signed un-drafted forward C.J. Leslie.
(Projected) 2013-2014 W-L: 50-32
The Knicks will be tough again to beat in the regular season due to their three-point shooting bursts that they can go on, but three-point shooting can only take you so far. Grunwald and Dolan are putting way too much pressure on Tyson Chandler to overcome the Knicks’ defensive flaws. Carmelo is more fitting playing power forward and was the staple of their success. Mike Woodson cannot go away with the small ball that made them so successful against opponents.The Knicks are once again relying on old age veterans to play major roles for them this season. It is a high possibility that some of their important rotation players could breakdown like last year and have New York short-handed in the postseason.