30 November 2011
Ability? Yes! Confidence? Yes! Expectations? Yes! Hope? You bet!!! Those are just a few words to describe the Knicks for the upcoming NBA season.
Last season, the New York Knickerbockers made a significant move by acquiring all-star Carmelo Anthony, but in doing so, gave away many pieces of their team. As a result of Melo's huge contract, it has left the Knicks with very little room to move for the upcoming season. Some considered it a bad move, however if the Knicks wanted to consider themselves serious title contenders, then the move had to be made. Now, with Amare also on board, the Knicks are more than capable of taking on the Bulls, Celtics and even the Heat so long as they are firing on all cylinders.
All the talk right now, and has been since last season, surrounds the potential acquisition of New Orleans point guard Chris Paul. This is a story that will likely linger throughout this season. Right now, CP3 has pledged his alliance to the Hornets (as you would expect him to do), but you know that he is thinking of this move, hence look for the Knicks to try their hardest to get him (it goes without saying that the move would bring them right up to title favorites). Paul has a year left on his contract, so the Hornets would be smart to deal him this season in order to get something in return. Apparently the Celtics are also interested, with Rajon Rondo offered to move in the other direction.
Glen Grunwald, the current interim General Manager of the Knicks that replaced Donnie Walsh last season, will likely remain in place for the 2011-2012 season. One of his main goals will be to bring Chris Paul into town.
So Chris Paul aside, what is in store for the upcoming 66 game season? Well, the Knicks are still licking their wounds following their disappointing first round playoff sweep at the hands of the Celtics last season. Chemistry and health will be the keys to their success. Following the Melo trade last season, the Knicks went 14-18... hardly anything to write home about. The lockout certainly hasn't helped, but expectations are still high..
A starting five of Melo, Amare, Billups, Fields and Turiaf, along with head coach Mike D'Antoni, does put the Knicks on the championship radar based on ability and confidence. However, that alone won't be enough. Unfortunately due to the previously mentioned trade, it has left the bench rather bare, and this was highlighted when injuries came into the picture at the back end of last season. It is clear that more help is needed inside in order to help them take the extra step, so look for the Knicks to acquire someone along the lines of Samuel Dalembert or Andris Beidrins.
Interestingly, demand for ticket sales remains strong despite the Knicks being one of the most expensive tickets to buy in the NBA, so if that any indication to go by, then both expectations and hope come into play.
Prediction: One can't expect NBA Champions this season, but a move for CP3 could change that picture dramatically. However, realistically, a second round exit is the likely result based on the current team and the competition in the East.
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