Guest Piece: "The Rotation"

The following is a guest piece from avid TKB reader and huge Knicks fan, Jamey Adelson.  Enjoy…

Am I the only one scratching my head pondering what the rotation is going to look like this upcoming season? Considering the numerous moves made this off-season by our “godfather” Donnie Walsh, October 27th can’t come around any time sooner.

As we all know, D’Antoni is accustomed to running an eight-man rotation. This year, I think he’ll HAVE to expand it to at least a nine-man rotation. Why you ask? Looking at this team from top to bottom on paper, with our oldest player being Roger Mason (30), the team frankly has too much potential and depth. You figure Stoudamire, Gallo, Felton, and Chandler and if healthy, Turiaf and Azubuike will get majority of the minutes played. I didn’t even mention Randolph, Douglas, Mason, Walker or Mozgov.

So what are the possible projected rotations that 33rd and 7 will see for half the 2010-2011 season? I’ll give you my top three.

1. C: Turiaf/Stoudemire/Mozgov
PF: Stoudemire/Randolph
SF: Gallinari/Walker
SG: Chandler/Azubuike/Mason
PG: Felton/Douglas

This line-up is lacking rebounding and defense. Turiaf brings that shotblocking presense we’ve been lacking for god knows how long, but we’re small. We’re going to need to find a way to contain the opposition from getting easy buckets inside the paint.

2. C: Stoudemire/Turiaf
PF: Randolph/Stoudemire
SF: Gallo/Walker
SG: Azubuike/Chandler/Mason
PG: Felton/Douglas

With this projected line-up, both our front and backcourt will allow for a “skys the limit” potential and unlimited athleticism. Felton has the speed and handling to run the pick n roll as many times as he wants with STAT. If both become Batman and Robin in that kind of play, Gallo is going to get a lot more open looks, which we know is automatic when he’s wide-open.

3. C: Stoudemire/Turiaf
PF: Randolph/Stoudemire
SF: Gallo/Chandler/Walker
SG: Mason/Azubuike
PG: Felton/Douglas

Obviously the name that sticks out is Roger Mason at the SG position. Call me crazy but the kid can flat out shoot the ball. During the 08-09 season, Mason started 71 of the 82 games played in San Antonio, primarily because of his clutch shooting performances and his 42% from beyond the arc. He only started five games last year but with the emergence of George Hill, it was hard for him to seek any playing time at all. Lets put it this way, if you’re a lifetime shooter of 40% from three point range, D’Antoni is going to love you.

At the end of the day, with whatever rotation the coaching staff puts out there, it’s going to be great to watch them develop and play. Wait a minute, where’s Eddy? He’s not answering his phone again!

Good thoughts and analysis from Jamey.  A player that I tend to forget about is Roger Mason, but especially with Azubuike potentially missing time, Mason should get his chance to contribute.

I have said this before, and I still believe it to be very much true.  While plenty of talented players come into the league ready to dominate and other immensely talented players never quite figure it all out, there is still a large group of players that fall into the middle somewhere.  In my opinion, the Knicks trio of Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, and Anthony Randolph epitomize that middle group.  Each of those three players have shown extended flashes of potential stardom in their young NBA careers, but none of them have been able to do so on a consistent basis.  None of them have quite developed into players ready to consistently help their teams win.  This season will be a big season for that trio to prove they are ready to take the next step.  Even with the additions of Amare and Felton, the stage is set for them to emerge onto the NBA scene.  The biggest question facing the Knicks this coming season is whether they will answer that call.

Ring… ring… ring….