The Knicks are coming off a fine season, winning 54 games (their best mark in 16 years) while also winning their first playoff series (against the Boston Celtics) in 13 years. However, it was a bittersweet season, as the Knicks fell to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semi-finals and ended the season with unfulfilled expectations.
In the offseason, the Knicks made a few moves to bolster their squad and get over the hump this year. They selected Tim Hardaway Jr. in the NBA Draft, traded for Toronto forward Andrea Bargnani and signed free agents Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih. The Knicks also re-signed J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and Pablo Prigioni.
With all the new pieces and the holdovers blending together, it should be another fun year in the newly remodeled Madison Square Garden.
So, with the new season set to commence, let’s look at four things to watch for.
How will Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Peace fit in the frontcourt?
Both newcomers are versatile and can play at a couple of spots in the frontcourt. Bargnani, although 7-foot, is not known for his tenacity under the boards, but he is your ideal stretch four or even five and that could be an asset in this offense. World Peace, well known for his defensive exploits, provides some grit to the frontcourt and can play at both the three and four spots. From the preseason, we can deduce that Bargnani may start at power forward (although there are rumors he may come off the bench in Wednesday’s game) with World Peace coming off the bench. How these two play alongside Carmelo Anthony will be telling.
Will Carmelo Anthony’s contract situation cause a distraction?
A lot has been made regarding the notion that Anthony will opt out his contract and test the free-agent waters after this season. Well, for Knicks fans, it’s not exactly comforting news, but at the end of the day, this topic is something that should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Anthony very well could end up back with the Knicks, as they can offer him the most money. With Anthony talking about his legacy in the offseason, he’ll be motivated to put forth a great effort this year.
The maturation and progress of Iman Shumpert
It’s been stated here before, but the success of Shumpert will be the X-factor for the Knicks this year. Shumpert has loads of upside and now that he is fully healthy and having two years under his belt, this is the year he should take the next step in his game. Shumpert had a dazzling preseason and showed marked improvement in his jump shot while enhancing his already steady defensive game. This could all set Shumpert up for his breakout season.
Will the nagging injuries to Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin linger?
The injuries to Stoudemire and Martin, of course, are a concern. With Tyson Chandler also no spring chicken, the frontcourt can’t sustain major injuries and be productive this season. That’s why the additions of Bargnani and World Peace are huge. But it would be nice if Stoudemire and Martin can provide some depth, especially Stoudemire. Stoudemire can provide a good boost off the bench, as he is a gifted low-post scorer. How he is used by coach Mike Woodson should bear monitoring this season.
Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon
You need to satisfy your competitive drive, so why not beat our experts in fantasy football. At FightClub, our official Fantasy Football partner, you can change you team weekly and win cash. Get a free $5 credit when you sign up and try them out. And each week, Sports Media 101 will sweeten the pot and award the player with top points an extra $25. Match-up and show them how good you are. Can you handle FightClub?
Your man cave is your home field advantage for every game. When the game is on the line, you should be able to look around and be reminded of the great moments you've watched unfold in that very room! MJR Sports Integrity offers a wide range or team and player-specific memorabilia that can do just that and take your game day room to the next level. Find your inspiration at MJR Sports Integrity and will your team to victory!
- Reports Say New York Knicks Will Play Milwaukee Bucks in the Season Opener
- Inside the Box Score: New York Knicks-Milwaukee Bucks (preseason Game 6)
- New York Knicks Set to Open Exhibition Schedule Against Boston Celtics on Wednesday Night
- Four Things to Watch for in New York Knicks Preseason
- Which Forward Position Will New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony Play Next Season?
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/135e