Finishing with a record of 37-45 last season, the Knicks knew there were some changes that had to be made. The Knicks finished second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 54-28 during the 2012-2013 season, but saw a significant decline in production from players like Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith. Despite a poor record last season, the Knicks only finished a game behind the Hawks for the eighth and final spot in the postseason. With the hiring of new head coach, Derek Fisher, and re-signing Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks and their fans have high hopes for the upcoming season. The team, organization and entire Knicks’ community trusts Phil Jackson and believes that he will take them to where they want to be.
- KEY PLAYER LOSSES: Tyson Chandler(C), Raymond Felton(PG)
- KEY PLAYER ADDITIONS: Jose Calderon(PG), Samuel Dalembert(C), Cleanthony Early(SF)
My Starting Five
Jose Calderon(PG), Iman Shumpert(SG), Carmelo Anthony(SF), Amare Stoudemire(PF), Samuel Dalembert(C)
- New York Knicks 2014-2015 Eastern Conference Ranking Prediction: #8
- Projected Win-Loss Record: 42-40
Going into the off season, the main goal of the Knicks was to re-sign Carmelo Anthony to a long term deal. As days went on, it became stressful for Knick fans watching as nothing happened. Finally, both sides agreed to a five year, $124 million deal. Anthony is a team leader and will finish top three in the league in scoring for many years to come. With that weight lifted off their shoulders, the Knicks were ready to prepare for the upcoming season.
It is no mystery that Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler struggled throughout the entire 2013-2014 season. Phil Jackson’s first move to rebuild this team was done when the Knicks sent Felton and Chandler to Dallas in return for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Wayne Ellington, Shane Larkin, and two 2014 second round picks. Upgrading at the point guard position will make the Knicks better in the long run.
Phil Jackson wanted a coach who would listen to him and run the systems that he wanted to run. This meant that the person had to be familiar with the offense, hence the hiring of Derek Fisher. Fisher played for many years under Jackson in Los Angeles. This is nothing but good news for the Knicks. Jackson has led many teams to championships. Many people had made the argument that Jackson always had the best players on his teams, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Not to say that Anthony is on that level, but he is a superstar in this league and is ready to win.
What has haunted the Knicks the past few years is their lack of big men. Ever since Anthony arrived in New York, Amare Stoudemire has been insignificant. He has been battling knee injuries and when he is on the floor, he is not the same player he was when he first signed with the Knicks. Former Knick and now Dallas Maverick, Tyson Chandler, has also struggled over the past two seasons. Developing low post moves has always been something Chandler hasn’t done. Andrea Bargnani is another player who is not much of a force down-low. A mediocre rebounder and a even worse low post defender, Bargnani is a player who likes to live on the perimeter. Without a presence in the middle, it is hard to be successful.
New York is a place where success is mandatory. When the Knicks fails to improve, the fans get restless. Every year, there are expectations and goals that are set but never achieved. Playing in New York comes with a lot of pressure and sometimes players cannot handle it. We do not know for sure if this is what is happening with the Knicks, but it is always a possibility.
The defensive ability of the Knicks has always been a concern. Losing Chandler makes it even more of a concern. Shumpert is the one player who has always shown the ability to play defense, however he is the only one.
J.R. Smith is below average and Anthony’s weight loss may affect his performance on the defensive end. Defense wins championships; If there is none, there will be no championships. Can the Knicks make the post season? Absolutely, however this is not the season where a title run is possible.