There were many things the New York Knicks were this season — incompetent, uninterested, defensively-challenged, always injured and even, at times, underachievers. Now, according to Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire, there’s another thing we can add to that list — The “Paper” Champions.
I’m sure he was joking, though. He had to be joking.
'On paper we might be the best team in the league.' Amar'e Stoudemire w/ a straight face
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 13, 2014
OK, well maybe not. But at least, we (the majority of sane basketball fans) took it as a joke.
Others actually agreed with Stoudemire to a certain extent, which I’m not really sure how or why.
— Jalen Bishop (@jalen_ny) April 14, 2014
Nevertheless, let’s take a look at how this year’s Knicks roster ranked in the East.
Here are my rankings (roster-wise):
- Miami Heat
- Indiana Pacers
- Brooklyn Nets
- Toronto Raptors
- New York Knicks
- Washington Wizards
- Chicago Bulls* (assuming no Derrick Rose)
- Charlotte Bobcats
- Atlanta Hawks
Just in the East, I have them fifth (at best). If you add in the Western Conference, they’d be a lot closer to the bottom. Granted, I’m not really sure what you’d expect Stoudemire to say about his team. Of course he’s going to say that they underachieved this season, because they did.
If you take into account the preseason expectations this team had, not making the playoffs is not even close to what many thought this team was capable of. And I fall under that category. Personally, I picked the Knicks to win the Atlantic (which a lot of people did, as well). At the end of the day, there are many things that could be used to blame this Knicks season on, but, at the same time, I’m not really sure if any of those reasons are actually good alibis to the way this season ended for NY.
Sure, the Knicks had to overcome a few injuries here and there, but when you think about it, Carmelo Anthony was fairly healthy all year long. With a healthy Melo, this Knicks team was supposed to flourish around him. At least that was the whole point in brining him in, right? He is/was supposed to be a superstar.
It just didn’t work out the way the Knicks envisioned it would — and I’m not just talking about this season.
So, no. Amar’e, you’re not right about the Knicks having the best roster in the NBA. You’re right in saying that the Knicks didn’t meet their expectations this year, because they didn’t. But there isn’t a drug strong enough in this world to make me, or any logical basketball realist for that matter, believe that the Knicks have one of the best rosters in the League.
I mean, sure, they have some pretty names on it, but the Raymond Felton’s, Andrea Bargnani’s, Tyson Chandler’s and even Stoudemire’s aren’t what they used to be. Sad, but true.
I guess that comment by Amar’e pretty much epitomizes the Knicks season in a nutshell. It just had so many things wrong about it.