Sam SpiegelmanAnother day in the offseason, another offseason report card released.
This time it comes from NBA.com, which wrote the Knicks deserve a B this summer.
The Knicks were a strange team last season, with a ridiculously potent offense early in the season and again late. They had the league’s leading scorer and set records for the most 3-pointers made and attempted in a single season. But that offense hit a wall in the playoffs and the Knicks were bounced in the conference semifinals.
They added World Peace and Bargnani, but Jason Kidd has taken a lot of those threes and critical leadership to the Brooklyn bench. And whether the Knicks can recapture their offensive magic is as big a question as whether they can improve on a mediocre defense.
The other Eastern Conference contenders have improved around them and the Knicks will have to get better from within in order to keep pace. If Shumpert can expand his game and Chandler can regain his Defensive Player of the Year form, they can remain near the top of the East.
NBA.com gave an A grade to the Knicks’ revamped frontcourt of Andrea Bargnani, Metta World Peace, Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and Amare’ Stoudemire.
Bs were dished out to the backcourt, which added Beno Uhdrih, Tim Hardaway Jr. to a cast that includes Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigoni, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith — as well as to the bench and coaching staff.
NBA.com graded the Knicks’ defense a C, citing an older World Peace as their best stopper, while Bargnani and Stoudemire still don’t combine to form a capable low-post defense.
The B grade is still above average, according to the NBA.com marking system. and only 13 teams did the same or better than the Knicks this offseason. Sports Illustrated was not as kind, giving the Knicks a C- mark.
In the Eastern Conference, the Nets and Pacers each received an A-, while the Heat maintained a steady A. The Bulls got a C-.
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