By: Ryan Wallace
Today is the first day of Training Camp. What better way to kick it off then get down to the nitty-gritty on how this team is going to win the Atlantic Division and have a run in the post season.
First off I really do believe that the Knicks wanted Jeremy Lin back, but at the end of the day this team wasn’t a good fit for him. This Knickerbocker club will resemble your Riley/Van Gundy Knicks. Jeremy is a pick and roll/up tempo guy. I don’t think you will see the Knicks playing that brand this year. This team is built on defense. The additions the organization made, I believe, will give Mike Woodson a great chance at defining roles early on.
Biggest Addition: Marcus Camby will give the Knicks an ELITE defender and rebounder. Per 48 minute averages of 3.02 blocks and 18.8 rebounds(first in the league). I can see Marcus pushing Amare for minutes in the fourth quarter when the Knicks are ahead. Towards the end of last season, to me, the Knicks biggest drop off came when Tyson would get in foul trouble. This should no longer be an issue as there will be no drop off in production when Camby comes in the game. Also age jokes aside, Marcus played more games last season the Amare and Melo.
Back-Court Depth. Even with the subtraction of Jeremy Lin the Knicks added players that will be able to play the brand that Mike Woodson wants. I especially like Jason Kidd’s versatility. Kidd took 6.5 threes per game shooting 35%. That type of production will be able to space the floor. I can see a lineup where Kidd plays along with Steve Novak giving the rest of the Knicks plenty of room to create. In addition the added depth should elevate JR Smith and Iman Shumpert’s games as they will have to play better to earn minutes.
Need for improvement: The most telling quotes for me came from Carmelo Anthony. He recognizes the need to play a more all around game. No longer is there a need for him to score 30-35 points for this team to win. In contrary I did not see anything similar from Amare Stoudamire. If the Knicks are going to move into the Elite tier in the NBA the biggest adjustment needs to come from Amare. I was watching some of the Knicks/Bulls wars on MSG recently, and couldn’t help but see the similarities physically between Dennis Rodman and Amare. Personally I feel like Amare is at an inflection point in his career. If Amare is going to continue to be a guy who is at the all-star level he needs to dedicate to a more Rodmanesque game. Get his boards up to 10-11 a game and shoot in the high 50’s. Really start causing havoc in the paint like Rodman did on the offensive glass. In my opinion there is enough scoring on this team that there only needs to be one lead dog scoring wise and that is Carmelo Anthony. The sooner Amare accepts that and decides to dedicate himself to dominating in the paint the better for the Knickerbockers.
Really looking forward to the season and breaking down some game action. I think this team is set up to make a run at the Atlantic Division and for the first time in many years to get out of the first round.
Follow me on twitter @11758rw. I’ll be expanding on the scouting report product from last season and would love to be a little more interactive with the TKB faithful.