In twenty one days, the lights of Madison Square Garden will shine bright as the New York Knicks begin their new season. After finishing 54-28 last season, the Knicks knocked out the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs before falling to the Indiana Pacers in 6 games, ending their season. With a veteran group, the time for the Knickerbockers to win is now – but can they? Let’s find out.
Key Offseason Moves:
On July 10, the Knicks acquired Andrea Bargnani from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and Quentin Richardson along with a future first round pick and two future second round picks. Later in the offseason, the Knicks signed Metta World Peace and Jeremy Tyler to two-year deals and Beno Udrih to a one-year contract. New York also selected Tim Hardaway Jr. in the 2013 draft and signed C.J. Leslie, who went undrafted. if you’re looking to see these guys play for the first time, Knicks tickets to the home opener are still available.
Questions Heading Into The Season:
Did the Knicks reach their ceiling last season?
The Knicks had quite an impressive campaign last season. Despite injuries, they claimed the two seed in the tough Eastern Conference. Carmelo Anthony essentially did what he pleased on the offensive side of the ball, averaging 28.7 PPG, the most points he has averaged since 2006. Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland stepped up into big roles for the team, J.R. Smith was as lovable as ever with his recurrent barrage of three-pointers. While it is certainly a talented roster, it seems as though the Knicks may have reached their ceiling. It will take another heroic year from Anthony and some hard-nosed defense from Iman Shumpert, Tyson Chandler and co. for the Knicks to surpass their success from last season.
Will Amar’e Stoudemire have a positive impact on the court?
In the past twelve months, Stoudemire has gone through three knee surgeries. The 30-year-old who signed a five-year, $100 million contract with the Knicks in 2010, was limited to just 29 games last season. The former star, however, did average a respectable 14.2 points and 5 rebounds in those games, certainly making use of his short amount of time on the court. If STAT can stay healthy, he can help the Knicks out. He is still a capable big-man and any productive minutes at all from Stoudemire would prove to be a nice bonus.
Ultimately, can the Knicks win an NBA championship with the current roster?
Can they? Sure, but will they? No, not with this current roster. They have a talented squad from scorers to defenders to shooters to big-men, but the widespread talent around the league will be too much for this Knicks team to overcome. In just the Eastern Conference alone there are, about four teams who are probably all-around better than them.
Season Prediction: 48-34, fifth seed in the Eastern Conference
After exceeding all expectations last season, the Knicks will struggle a bit more this time around as many of their surrounding teams have gotten stronger. The Miami Heat are still the team to beat in the East, but other teams such as the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and Brooklyn Nets are all ready to challenge the two-time defending NBA champions. Nonetheless, it should certainly be a wild, exciting ride for New York in 2014.