With the 2013-14 NBA season just over two months from it’s start (October 29th), New York Knicks’ head coach, Mike Woodson, still has “no idea who’s going to start” for the Knickerbockers this season.
Woodson stated three obvious starters. Carmelo Anthony (duh), Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton. Chandler and Felton merely boil down to the fact that the Knicks are shallow at both point guard and center, and truly have no other worthy starting options aside from the aforementioned Chandler and Felton.
“That’s what we use camp for. I have no idea who’s going to start,” Woodson said. “Camp should be pretty competitive based on the talent, and that’s how it should be.”
Not to claim that these Knicks don’t have pieces. Their starting battle at shooting guard proves to have many solid options to play alongside Melo on the wings. J.R Smith is an obvious name that vaults into conversation, but it seems like Woodson liked Smith in more of a 6th man role last season. Iman Shumpert is another choice, and my personal pick for who will start at the two in 2013. Shump offers the Knicks some athleticism and a hard-nosed defensive option. Then there’s the rookie, Tim Hardaway Jr. Hardaway looks to be a good fit for the Knicks as a scorer on the wing.
“You’ve got to go in and earn a spot,” Woodson said when asked about Shumpert’s status as a starter. “That’s how I look at it.”
Power forward is another point of interest, and yet another position where Woodson has some interesting choices to make. The Knicks seem to play pretty solid small ball, with Anthony at the four, but also have more options this season, with names like Metta World Peace, Andrea Bargnani, and what is hopefully a healthy Amar’e Stoudemire.
Although I’m sure the Knicks will let both Stoudemire and Bargnani see minutes at the five, behind Chandler. The shuffling units that the Knicks could implement this season are very intriguing to say the least.
“Melo is a player. I could play him at the [two-guard] and he’d be just fine. I don’t know where I’m going to play him yet,” Woodson said. “I’ll play him, I know that, but we have to find two other bodies that fit that starting lineup and who that’s going to be at this point, I don’t know.”
Woodson understands the variety of units he can run with this current roster, and seeing multiple, different looks every night wouldn’t surprise me. Felton, Melo, Metta, Bargnani and Chandler would give the Knicks extreme size, while units like Felton, Smith, Melo, Amar’e and Bargnani could give the Knicks a relentless offensive force. But, I’d expect to see units like Felton, Shump, Melo, Metta and Chandler when the Knicks see the likes on the Indiana Pacers. Something with a bit of defensive force. A lineup the Knicks seemingly lacked last season.
Woodson has many decisions to make before the season kicks off in late October.
Shortly after being amnestied by the Los Angeles Lakers, and clearing waivers, Metta World Peace signed on with the New York Knicks, a playoff team with loads of offensive talent, who seemingly lacked strong defensive presence, and that tough, gritty mentality, who teams like the Indiana Pacers are bursting at the seams with. Metta, now a member of the Knicks, will ultimately bring his sometimes questionable attitude to the Big Apple, where the Knickerbockers will look to him for him to lead their defensive charge.
World Peace’s brother, Daniel Artest, believes that his brother will provide the Knicks with exactly what they’re looking for. A hired goon, so to speak. Not only does Metta’s brother believe that World Peace makes the Knicks tougher, but he also believes that they would have beaten the Pacers last season in the playoffs if Metta was on their roster.
“They’ve got a good team but they never had that goon — that defensive goon last season,’’ Daniel said on Monday. “Someone that’s not afraid. If Ron was on the team, they would have gotten past the Pacers.’’
Perhaps Metta World Peace IS exactly what the New York Knicks lack. He brings in that toughness that players like Carmelo Anthony just don’t have. He’s also the type of player who can knock down the open look, which should mesh well with the high-octane offensive approach the Knicks used last season. Metta will have his work cut out for him, most likely getting looks at opposing team’s best scorers at the two, three and four positions. Daniel Artest believes his brother is ready for any challenges.
“I’m not worried [he’s washed up],’’ Daniel said. “It’s all about heart. The way Ron plays, he will help the Knicks out the way he plays defense and take pressure off Carmelo [Anthony], [who] won’t have to guard the best forward guy anymore. [World Peace] can guard the power forward. He held a lot of power forwards like Zach Randolph, David West and LaMarcus [Aldridge] last season way below their scoring average. He’s still very strong and has a lot of game left.’’
We do know one thing about Metta World Peace, he’ll bring excitement to Gotham. Hopefully he stays away from the negativity that has surrounded his NBA career thus far. MWP could truly provide the Knicks would something they lacked last season. It’s up to him to get the job done.
So… The Knicks apparently didn’t learn about signing guys ready for social security. Okay, that’s fine. In their defense with the money they have left over who else can they go after, right?
The Knicks and Brand have mutual interest in each other according to Jared Zwerling. Zwerling explains in his tweets that Brand wants to join a winner and that he is also a native of New York. The Knicks finished second in the Eastern Conference a year ago, so Brand has the right idea. The team still has core pieces like Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, and Tyson Chandler (when 100%). New York should have another bright season if everyone’s bones, tendons, and ligaments cooperate.
League source: #Knicks are preparing to make offer to Elton Brand. Brand is from New York, wants to join winning team. Mutual interest high.
— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 2, 2013
The domino effect of this possible signing would mean that Kenyon Martin would probably not be back with the Knicks in 2013-2014. So sad to see you go K-Mart.
Deron Williams and other players kind of played off the idea of the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets rivalry during last season, and many experts and fans would agree. I heard many instances where a fan, or a writer would state that in order to have a rivalry there needs to be a history of tough games, and utter dislike for the other team and or players. These types of heated feelings generally build up over a playoff series, and that may be what’s needed in order for these two clubs to share a true rivalry.
Sure, the Knicks and Nets now share the same city, but New York is hardly a small area, and Brooklyn and Manhattan might as well be two different worlds. Many New Yorkers consider the Nets an invasive species in their city, and still refer to them as the New Jersey Nets. This is all understandable. The Clippers and Lakers not only share a city, but they share an arena, and NOBODY is calling what they have a rivalry. In both cases you have a divisional foe, or rival, but it’s not the same as the Celtics/Lakers back in the 1980′s, or the Pistons/Bulls of the late 80′s, early 90′s.
“When the reporters are asking us, ‘Is it a big deal?’, I think we all kind of shrug it off,” Deron said.
“Even when we won or when the Knicks won, the way they celebrated wasn’t how you would celebrate after a normal win. It definitely means much more. It’s not really a rivalry yet, but I think it’s forming, and as we get better and as the Knicks get better, I think it’ll be a rivalry for years to come.”
Many speculate over whether or not the arrival of Jason Kidd as the Brooklyn Nets new head coach will help push the envelope a little bit on the growth of this “rivalry”. Kidd played a good chunk of his NBA career with the Nets in New Jersey, but finished his career as a New York Knick. Kidd literally retired as a Knick, and then was hired as the Nets’ new head coach in the same month. Could something like this push this beef between burrows over the edge? Maybe, but as I said up top, the Knicks and Nets will need games, and likely tough playoff ones, to push create what the NBA world would consider to be a true rivalry.
The wrath of Indiana Pacers’ head coach, Frank Vogel, has become something of legend this post season. Vogel, the often-animated coach on the sidelines for the Pacers, has taken shots at the Miami Heat, benched $58 Million man, and Pacers’ starting center, Roy Hibbert, and now he’s taken aim at the New York Knicks.
As you know by now, the Pacers took care of the New York Knicks in 6 games during their second-round matchup in the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Indiana imposed their defensive will against a Knicks’ club that just wasn’t built to battle a gritty, determined team like the Pacers. The Pacers thwarted every attempt the Knicks made to play their type of series, and ultimately dismantled the Eastern Conference’s number 2 seed with ease.
The Miami Heat are a different beast, and they proved that by hanging tough during game 1 against the defensive juggernaut that is the Indiana Pacers, and walked away with a hard-fought win in the process. Indiana’s center, Roy Hibbert, who was probably the biggest difference maker versus the Knicks, was even sent to the bench late in the game, and LeBron James exploited the lack of a 7-footer to sink the go-ahead layup in overtime.
Vogel has now given his take on one of the differences between the Heat and the Knicks. This report via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:
“They (The Miami Heat) had a more intelligent attack at the basket than New York did.”
That’s one way to get Mike Woodson’s attention. Generally when the intelligence of a club comes into question, the intelligence of the head coach also goes along with it. The Knicks’ rotations did seems to lack any creativity, and their one offensive mission was to ISO Carmelo Anthony, thus making the Pacers’ defensive goals sort of easy. Stop Carmelo. It did appear easy to put a defender on Melo and stack the paint with the big bodies of David West and Roy Hibbert. Miami on the other hand, uses more screens, and moves the rock a bit more. They have LeBron, Wade and Bosh who can all break down their respective defenders and make things happen for themselves.
Does Vogel have a point?