A Look at the 2012-2013 New York Knicks: Basketball, not gossip

Season 3 upcoming – Time to put up or shut up

Before examining the Knicks roster and making some predictions for the 2012-2013 NBA season, let’s take a look back at some important numbers and observations from the last two seasons.

Important numbers from the 2011-2012 NBA season

  • The Knicks entered last year’s playoffs as the # 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, but had a point differential of +3.1 (8th overall) which suggests they blew out bad teams while consistently losing to good teams.
  •  In the ‘11-’12 season, the Knicks had two 6 six game losing streaks, and one three game losing streak.
  • The Knicks ranked 29th in turnovers per game (16.0)
  • 15-18 versus playoff teams in the ‘11-12 season.
  • 1-8 in the past two postseasons

2012-2013 New York Knick Roster (as of July 18, 2012): http://espn.go.com/nba/team/roster/_/name/ny/new-york-knicks

Point Guard

The high top fade was in a looooooooong time ago

Jason Kidd (‘11-’12 season): 6.2 PPG, 5.5 APG, .363 FG %, .354 3P%, 28.7 MIN

At 39 years old, the floor general can still provide decent minutes, but he frequently missed back to back games last season. Kidd remains a solid point guard but he’s incapable of guarding the elite players at his position.

Raymond Felton (‘11-’12 season): 11.4 PPG, 6.5 APG, 31.8 MPG, .407 FG %, .305 3P% , 31.8 MIN

Felton has struggled mightily since being traded from the New York Knicks two season ago. He’s been ineffective, out of shape and takes no responsibility for his poor play. Here’s a quote from him last season following a game in which he shot 0 for 7 and committed five turnovers in 24 minutes:

“I know I’m struggling, but it’s hard to perform the way you know how when you know they don’t have confidence in you,” Felton said. “Never in my days playing basketball, have I felt like a coach wasn’t confident in my abilities. It’s hard to play knowing that.”

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1070008-nba-rumors-raymond-felton-blaming-nate-mcmillan-for-slump-is-awful-career-move

Maybe it was the turnovers and the poor shot selection. Maybe.

Jason Kidd is way beyond his prime and we might have already seen the best basketball that Raymond Felton will ever play. Neither of these players were on the roster last year so there’s no film or stats to evaluate how they might fit with this team. Neither of these guys are going to change the fortunes of the Knicks franchise based on their respective performances last season.

Shooting Guard

Iman Shumpert
J.R. Smith
James White

Iman Shumpert: A young player known for his great effort and tenacious defense. He is not a good scorer, but he is an impact player who should be able to make some noise once he returns from the torn ACL he suffered in last year’s playoffs.

J.R. Smith: This streaky shooter who is known for jacking up shots and that’s it.

James White: Who is that?

This is the weakest position on the Knicks squad, but googling “James White” was fun.

Small Forward

Carmelo Anthony
Steve Novak
Chris Copeland

Carmelo Anthony: A great talent who can do almost anything on the basketball court. His offensive arsenal is hall of fame worthy, and he can defend three positions when he feels like it. The problem is that he has not figured out how to make his teammates better which is why he has only made it out of the first round of the playoffs one time in nine seasons.

Steve Novak: Great spot up shooter with friendly looks and great memes.

Chris Copeland: ESPN does not even have a log on this guy.

Not much to see at the three spot other than Carmelo Anthony.

Power Forward

Amare Stoudemire

(‘10 – ’11 season): 25.3 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.9 BPG, .502 FG%, .792 FT%

(‘11 -‘12 season): 17.5 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 1.0 BPG, .483 FG%, .765 FT%

Stoudemire’s stats reflect a steady regression in efficiency and results across the board. It’s difficult to project how next season will play out since Stoudemire has battled several injuries during the ‘11-’12 season that clearly affected his play on the court. Stoudemire is the most effective when the offense runs through him; however, the same is true of Carmelo Anthony. Stoudemire’s stats will improve this season, but will that lead to more wins?

Center

Tyson Chandler
Marcus Camby
Kurt Thomas

Chandler is a world class, difference making defender with great rebounding chops and championship pedigree.

This picture was taken before he remembered he would be the only one playing defense on the team

The back up centers are Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas who are 38 and 39 respectively. Both are wily defenders capable of making life difficult for slashing guards who love to finish at the rim.

This group of centers is better than most in the NBA on paper. As long as they stay healthy, this is the position with the most depth on the team.

Health

Stoudemire had injuries last season to his hand, shoulder, and back. Current reports say that he has healed well and is back in elite playing condition.

Shumpert’s torn ACL is healing at the expected pace. His return date is set for January although that sounds extremely optimistic for an injury of that magnitude.

All players on the roster are either 29 years old and younger except Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd, and Kurt Thomas who are each at least 38 years old. Age will likely be a significant factor since those three are expected to play a pivotal role in the success of the Knicks’ season. An extended injury to Camby, Kidd, or Thomas could put any chance of a .500 season in jeopardy.

I’m coming, I’m coming!

Prediction

There’s little reason to believe this season will be much different than last. If Linsanity had never occurred, the Knicks would have missed the playoffs last year. They retained Mike Woodson as head coach, kept the same chemistry issues, added older players, and currently have less overall talent. The biggest problem is that Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire still have issues coexisting on the offensive side of the ball. In two seasons together, they have never been able to bring the Knicks more than six games over .500. That’s inexcusable.

Carmelo Anthony joined the Knicks after a blockbuster trade during the ‘10-’11 season – they ended the season two games over .500. After that disappointing season, Chandler joins the team as a defensive anchor following a championship season with the Mavericks – the Knicks completed the season six games over .500.

Nothing about the core of roster has changed for the better. Nothing about the coaching staff has been adjusted. I have no reason to believe the basketball results will be any different.

Record prediction: 44-38

Playoff prediction: # 6 seed, out in first round

P.S.

How can you not like Melo?

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