Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New York Knicks 2009-10 Preview

It seemed like the Knicks went into the offseason with one goal - create as much cap space as possible for the 2010 offseason. With guys like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh expected to be available, the Knicks are putting all of their cards on the table that they will be able to sign one of those guys, preferably LeBron James. In the long-term, this is probably the right strategy, as there is no other real obvious fix to their problems.

However, that leaves their roster a bit thin once again as we head into the 2009-10 season. They have some nice pieces, but they don't appear to be ready to challenge for a playoff spot. There is one certainty, and that is that they will play fast under coach Mike D'Antoni. In his second season with New York, he loves an up-tempo basketball game with a lot of three pointers, which should make the Knicks one of the most exciting teams in the league to watch. This might not translate into a ton of wins, but it's an improvement over the Isiah Thomas Era, which produced bad, boring basketball.

They have no clear star, but a few solid role players. Perhaps the best is David Lee, one of the best rebounders in the NBA. His offense is perfectly suited for D'Antoni's style, as he likes to get up and down the court. He does not have a lot of offensive skills, but he can get the job done in this offense. Nate Robinson is an exciting guy to watch. He can put points on the board in a hurry and pressures the ball well defensively. He didn't get a lot of attention in the FA market, however, which leads me to think he might always just be a good player on a bad team.

Wilson Chandler grew into his own last year, and has potential as a solid wing man. Guys like Chris Duhon, Al Harrington, and Larry Hughes are all solid players. They can be very solid bench guys on good teams. However, as they will be relied on a lot this year, they might be in a little over their heads.

If the Knicks have a star on the roster, it will likely be Danilo Gallinari. He showed flashes of being a very good player last season as a rookie, and they will need him to take more steps in his second year. He has a varied offensive game that they hope he can continue to develop, and he should flourish under D'Antoni. If he can grow and become a leader for the team, they might have an outside shot at reaching the postseason. If not, it will be another year simply spent waiting for the 2010 offseason for the New York Knicks franchise.

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