New York Knicks Season Preview: Can Carmelo Anthony Lead Knicks to NBA Playoffs?
The New York Knicks are not going to win the NBA Championship this season. We've established that face of reality.
Now let's dig a litter deeper and decide on just where the Knicks stack up against the rest of the Eastern Conference. The Knicks lost a franchise record 65 games last year. That pitiful 17-65 record led the Knicks to last place in the conference last season and (another) lottery pick in the NBA draft.
The Knicks didn't have the huge offseason spark that many NBA experts thought they would. Notable free agents such as LaMarcus Aldridge and Rajon Rondo took their talents elsewhere, while Greg Monroe decided to join the Milwaukee Bucks. The allure of the Big Apple isn't attracting high profile names like it used to.
The biggest addition by the Knicks was center Robin Lopez who signed a four deal. Lopez isn't an elite center by any means, but the Knicks didn't break the bank on him thus saving money. Lopez didn't have a very impressive rebounding season last year and he battled injuries, but he is definitely an improvement for this Knicks roster. Last season the Knicks ranked 22nd in points allowed, so Lopez will certainly play a big role this year.
Lopez actually does have an average jump shot for a big man, and the Knicks front court will need his offensive production to take some pressure off Carmelo Anthony.
One of the biggest question marks may very well be at the point guard position. Last season Shane Larkin led the Knicks in total assists, but he signed with the Brooklyn Nets. Phil Jackson is a big fan of Jose Calderon, but health is a big concern for the Spanish point guard. Calderon missed half the season last year because of injuries and his assist numbers are dropping.
This season will once again come down to their best player, Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony is a great scorer, but he has been criticized by many for his lack of skills outside of scoring. His defense has never looked great since entering the league from Syracuse, and his passing has to improve for the Knicks to go far. Anthony has only won three playoff series in his entire 12 year career.
Kristaps Porzingis was the Knicks first round draft pick this year. Porzingis is a good player out of Latvia, but most NBA analysts believe the Knicks made a huge mistake by drafting him with the No. 4 overall pick.
Fortunately for the Knicks, they do play in a terrible Eastern Conference. Outside of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks, there really isn't a championship contender in the East. The Chicago Bulls are constantly dealing with injuries to Derrick Rose, and they have a new coaching staff this season. As long as the Knicks can just put together a .500 record, they will make the playoffs this upcoming season.
Follow Damon Salvadore on Twitter @DamonSalvadore1
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