The Knicks have been very active this offseason, adding a few key pieces heading into the ’13-’14 season. This roundtable discussion will make various cases for who the most important addition was. Leave a comment below to chime in.
Harris DeckerAndrea Bargnani: In my eyes, the obvious answer is Bargnani. A 7-footer who can play both center and power forward and score in both spots, his addition to the team will be crucial this year.
He can shoot from the outside and will free up the paint for guys like Anthony, Smith and Shumpert. The fact that Steve Novak was able to make an impact on this team in the Woodson system tells me all I need to know. While Bargnani can’t shoot the 3 as well as Novak, he’s a solid outside shooter and a much more versatile player.
Ben KopelmanBeno Udrih: Last year’s playoff exit was highlighted by two things: JR’s freezing cold shooting touch and Tyson Chandler’s incredibly sudden demise. But beyond those, the play of Jason Kidd was particularly atrocious and hurt the team night after night. The team has parted ways with Kidd and seems to be setting Prigioni up to play his role this year — which leaves Udrih to play Prigg’s old role, one that proved major down the stretch. Udrih’s numbers as a starter last year (when he logged 30+ minutes) were top tier, averaging 14.3 points and 8.1 dimes.
Naturally he won’t be playing 37 minutes a game as he did in those starts, but it proves to me that he still has the ability to impact a game when given the chance. Recognizing how important this team’s bench play is going to be this year, I see him as a major addition and would not be surprised if he was thrust into a pivotal role when it matters most, much the way Prig was last year. More than insurance just in case things go south, I think Udrih could be one of the better off-the-bench point guards in the league this year.
Amit BadlaniAmar’e Stoudemire: STAT only played 29 regular season games last season after knee problems to start the season and more knee problems to end his season.
Of course, he came back to play 33 total minutes in four games in the Pacers series, but wasn’t very effective coming off the knee debridement. Considering how little he played last season, let’s consider him an addition.
Mike Woodson has already said that Amar’e will come off the bench again and will be limited to 20 minutes per game. Stoudemire didn’t participate in Hakeem Olajuwan’s camp as he had in years past to keep his knees fresh for the regular season. However, the focus will be having STAT healthy for the playoffs, and the 20 minute limit should allow him to make it through. Personally, I’d consider having him healthy for around 60 regular season games a small victory. If he’s able to hit his stride like he did in his last eight regular season games (he was able to score in double-digits in each of them), Amar’e will become a nightmare for opposing second-string big men.