City Sports Report

New York Knicks will be a competitive playoff team in 2014-2015

Carmelo Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr are the future of the franchise

After having a dynamic 2012-2013 season that’s saw the franchise win over 50 games, the New York Knicks struggled last season, totally only 37 wins and missing the playoffs.  On the eve of the start of the 2014-2015 season, gone are former head coach Mike Woodson, center Tyson Chandler, and gun-toting point guard Raymond Felton.  New Knicks include point guard Jose Calderon, center Samuel Dalembert, energizer Quincy Acy, and first-year head coach Derek Fisher, who retired from the NBA last season.

Carmelo Anthony is as close to a given as you get in the NBA, and you can expect him to do what he does arguably as well as anyone in the league: score.  Melo also had his finest season rebounding the ball a year ago, but he will need assistance in the areas of scoring and rebounding.

JR Smith should be the second scoring option on the team, but Smith has been inconsistent throughout his career.  Who are some of the Knicks who could step in on any given night when Smith is struggling shooting from the floor?

Jose Calderon is a lethal three-point shooter who doesn’t always look for his shot, but when left open, he will make you pay.  Iman Shumpert has shown flashes throughout his career, but has lacked the consistency to make him a viable scoring threat.  Perhaps in his fourth and final year of his rookie deal, Shumpert is able to take his game to another level, something many have thought possible for the last couple of seasons.

Tim Hardaway Jr. was one of the few bright spots for the Knicks a year ago.  The second-year player who brings a lot of energy to the team is known for his three pointers and dunks, but also needs to find the consistency that can make him a key contributor.

Then there is perhaps one of the biggest x-factors in the NBA: Amar’e Stoudemire.  The former All Star, in his fifth and final year of his deal with the Knicks, talked about regaining his love of the game of basketball, which he had lost due to injury.  Though Amar’e may think that the All Star still lives within, and believe me, I hope it still does, if he can stay healthy and contribute 75% of what he used to be, then Stoudemire will be a key contributor to the team.  Without the big man who stands tall and talented, the Knicks lack consistent front-court scoring outside of Carmelo, who, with the loss of weight over the summer due to diet, may not be capable of banging on the inside like he did last season.

Ultimately, I see this team winning around 45 games, which would make them a playoff team, but will also more than likely lead to a first-round exit.  This won’t be the championship year that Knicks fans have yearned for the last four decades, but it will hopefully set the foundation that allows fans to see that it may come in the near future under Derek Fisher, Phil Jackson, and starring Carmelo Anthony.

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