Aside from knee-jerk negative articles focusing on the current Knicks roster, Hoopsworld’s Tommy Beer pens a solid and fair depiction of how the Knicks stack up. One note in particular is a belief that I have regarding Ray Felton who, to me, is the key to the success of the team this year.
In addition, Felton is still young – he just turned 26 – and has proven he can handle lead-guard responsibilities. Felton’s overall numbers dipped a bit last season, the good news was that his efficiency improved; he shot a career-high 46% from the floor and career-best 38.5% from three-point territory. Moreover, after being handcuffed under Larry Brown’s plodding approach last season, Felton’s game could flourish under the up-tempo and freewheeling “Seven Seconds or Less” offense in NY.
Efficiency numbers are encouraging, but the point that Felton was never a match in Brown’s system is accurate, to me. And he still helped lead the Bobcats to the playoffs despite struggling against the Magic. Felton’s strength is the ability to get out on everyone WITH the ball. He’s one of the fastest players with the pill in the last decade. If he can get out on his own and finish then that’s great, but he’s going to have to learn that in D’Antoni’s secondary break, the point guard has to wait for a trailing big to set a screen and roll and reverse the ball if the screener is covered. He’ll learn this and be great at it, I believe. Of all the new players, I’m most excited to see Felton in a system that most resembles the system the excelled at while at UNC. Fast break then a controlled, but fast, secondary break leading to half court sets.