In the third of a five-part installment reviewing the state of the Atlantic Division heading into the 2013-14 NBA season, John Finger checks out the Knicks:
New York Knicks
2012-13 record: 54-28 (first place in Atlantic Division)
Andrea Bargnani, C.J. Leslie, Metta World Peace, Jeremy Tyler, Beno Udrih, Tim Hardaway.
Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quintin Richardson, Chris Copeland, James White
Projected starting five
PG – Raymond Felton
SG – Iman Shumpert
SF – Carmelo Anthony
PF – Andrea Bargnani
C – Tyson Chandler
The Knicks have four players selected in the top three of the NBA draft, including two No. 1 overall picks in Bargnani and Kenyon Martin.
The Knicks might lead the league in crazy and energy coming off the bench with Metta World Peace and J.R. Smith. Newcomer Bargnani gives the Knicks a little more scoring muscle and frees up Carmelo Anthony on the perimeter. Who knows, maybe Anthony will actually pass out of some of the post-ups he creates for himself?
However, the Knicks are putting a lot of weight on the shoulders of Tyson Chandler’s to defend in the paint. Because of the Knicks’ lack of interior defense, World Peace and Smith are going to have to help with a lot of the dirty work to keep the ball away from the rim.
The Knicks have depth and can score, but defense is going to keep them from taking the Atlantic from the Nets.