I've received and probably warranted criticism for some of the things I've said and say, which according to the guys here is flat out wrong. Well I've never been one for accepting criticism, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to analyze every team in the NBA and see if some of you and I can come to an agreement on. For starters, The New York Knicks.
Point Guards: Felton/Douglas
Small Forwards:Gallinari/Chandler/Fields/Ewing JR.
Power Forwards: Stoudemire/Randolph/Chandler/Williams
If it seems like they have alot of wings, they do. Alot of these wings are very talented. Bill Walker and Kelenna Azubuike have found niches in the league and they will especially in New York's fast break/athletic/3pt shooting system. In addition to those two guys, veteran Roger Mason can be a 3pt shooter and defensive specialist. Rautins himself is a 3pt marksman who showed he could do more than that, averaging 5 assists and 2 steals. While the wings are deep and the PG spot seems filled with two talented players, Rautins might be a pick that pays off two years from now. Similarly, Fields will find it hard to break through guys like Gallinari and Chandler but the 6'6 Fields shot 36% from 3 in his junior year in college and may also contribute, he also had a good summer league.
The wings are deep, but so is the point guard position, along with Bill Walker Toney Douglas made a strong impression last year, this impression wasn't enough to keep the Knicks from attempting to improve their PG position via signing Raymond Felton but the impression was surely enough to earn him major minutes in this years rotation. Speaking of Felton, he'll likely get the starting job after being the latest guard to clash with Larry Brown. Felton's demon speed and quickness will serve him well defensively and offensively in a system that fits well for him.
The bigs are highlighted by New York's biggest(literally) acquisitions, near 7 footer Anthony Randolph was the highlighter of the deal that sent Lee to GSW and Amare Stoudemire was the prize of free agency for the Knicks. While Amare's no LeBron, he's no slouch. He's coming off of a monster 20/10 season in which his team scratched and crawled it's way nearly to the NBA Finals. With his monster athleticism and exciting plays he'll bring alot of energy and attraction back to the Garden. Anthony Randolph is tall, he's athletic and he's exciting. But his development was grunted in arguably the worst team and organization in basketball: The Warriors. The Warriors may have done both the Knicks and the NBA as a whole a favor for letting this talented young kid escape that hell hole and into the spotlight where he can truly shine. Another player acquired in the Lee did was Ronny Turiaf, the young energy big was developed by the Lakers and signed by the Warriors because of that energy and intensity and shotblocking, he'll bring that here to New York.
Now, the team's front court has a mystery. A prospect big they signed over from Russia, he's 7'1, he has good foot speed and hands. Other then that, we don't know. However, D'Antoni and the Coaching staff thus far are in love with the guy and what he can do. It'll be guys like him and Randolph who can potentially carry this team further then expected.
Should the Knicks go after Melo?
One of the big advantages the Knicks have is the useless eater Eddy Curry may very well develop into Carmelo Anthony via his finally expiring contract. But should the Knicks do it via trade or even signing? No. They've already got Gallinari and Chandler under contract. They also have the two rookie wings, I think they're deep and talented enough at that SG/SF position where Melo ain't that much of an upgrade over Gallinari. Melo might be a scoring superstar, but Gallinari 1) fits that system and 2) ain't shabby himself. Obviously there's even more of a negative if they actually trade talent to get Carmelo. I feel like Melo doesn't do anything special where NY should give up their depth for him.
Where should the Knicks go free agency wise?
Good question, if this Mozgov kid is the real deal and Ronny Turiaf gets enough minutes at the C position, there may not be a need to sign some overexpensive big. The wings depth is good and the forward spot has the potential to be even better, they're almost too deep.
Point guard, and even then it's not like Felton and Douglas aren't good players and they don't fit that system: They are good players and they do fit that system. But if a Chris Paul wants to test the market or maybe if there's a Dwight Howard out there. Short of that? They've got a truly talented roster and they needn't spend their money hastily. They've gotten vastly better and arguably they've gotten alot more better than simply by signing LeBron. Credit goes to Donnie Welsh for executing a good game plan.
The Questions: Only one, Mike D'Antoni. D'Antoni's ultimate weakness has been exposed in Phoenix and NY: The guy doesn't have a rotation beyond 7 men, Darko Milicic and Nate Robinson were constantly are odds with him and including lottery pick Jordan Hill. Hill went onto have a decent year I guess in Houston, while Milicic is certainly a solid center(obviously not everything Kahn thinks of him but solid enough) and Nate Robinson went onto being a crucial contributor on that near-champion Celtics team. This year D'Antoni has no excuses: The talent is there, the outside shooting is there and the big men depth also potentially could be there as well.
If it sounds like I've fallen in love with the Knicks and what they've been able to accomplish, it's because I am. Few teams in the Eastern Conference(such as the Bulls and the Bucks) have the depth that the Knicks have. And even fewer teams have the kind of wealth the Knicks have up front, which is a stark contrast to the last 3 seasons for Knicks fans.
If the team is able to make a CP3 or a DH12-caliber signing, if they bid their time right they could be even more dangerous than the Heat down the road, due to the talent they've stockpiled and developed. But how about this year?
Prediction: I'm going on a limb and say that D'Antoni probably watched those Phoenix Suns last year, and have heard the criticism from fans and perhaps even the front office alike and henceforth is going to have a longer rotation than ever before in his NBA coaching career, as such I think the talent of the Knicks will shine and I'll say: 45-37, top 5-6 playoff seed.
They are one move away.
Next team up: The New Jersey Nets.