Atlantic Division Preview: New York Knicks

Atlantic Division Preview: New York Knicks
October 25, 2013, 11:00 am

Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and the Knicks won the Atlantic Division last season for the first time since 1994. (USA Today Images)

Atlantic Division Previews

Wednesday: Toronto Raptors
Thursday: Boston Celtics
Friday: New York Knicks
Monday: Brooklyn Nets
Tuesday: Philadelphia 76ers

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)

Arrivals
Andrea Bargnani, C.J. Leslie, Metta World Peace, Jeremy Tyler, Beno Udrih, Tim Hardaway.

Departures
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

Fun fact
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.

Outlook
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.

Projection
The Knicks have depth and can score, but defense is going to keep them from taking the Atlantic from the Nets.