Matthew FalkenburyThis past weekend, Jared Zwerling of ESPN-NY spoke with Raymond Felton and covered many different topics as the off-season starts to pick up steam towards the NBA Draft.
The one quote that has stuck out is the one referenced in the title to this post. Here is the question and answer in full.
When you entered training camp last season, you said you were in the best shape of your career. Do you want to duplicate a lot of what you did last summer?
“No question. I’m going to work 10 times harder because I see what we can do. I want to work as hard to get better and to get to the best where I can be. I see that we can win a championship with this type of team, so that’s going fuel me to work even harder.”
An innocent question and answer to be perfectly honest. I mean what exactly do people want Felton to say? “The Heat, Bulls and Pacers are way better than us but, maybe if everyone plays poorly or gets hurt we might have a shot?”
Of course he is not going to say that. He is confident in his teammates and coaches that won 54 games the year before could make a run.
The Knicks will need more help from guys expected to be contributors. A full season from Amar’e would be nice and J.R. Smith improving on his season last year would be even better. Plus a healthy Carmelo Anthony is the biggest key of them all.
The depth on the team is a bit low at this point considering the fact that Copeland and Prigioni might not be back, Kidd is gone to be the Nets Head Coach and who knows what Marcus Camby and Kenyon Martin will bring to the table.
Glen Grunwald and his staff also have a very important pick to make Thursday to help the depth because of the fact they don’t have another first round pick until 2015. If they can hit another home run like they seem to have with Shumpert, that will help greatly.
Unlike most it seems in the mainstream media and blogosphere, I do believe the Knicks have a legitimate shot to win the East. I’m not saying they are better than Miami, Indiana and the Bulls with Derrick Rose. But I do feel they can compete with them next year.
Raymond Felton is a confident player and it just voicing his optimism for the team he plays for when it comes to winning a NBA title.
With the right moves and improvement from the key players on the team, that optimism really isn’t that far fetched.