There have been a lot of positive vibes surrounding the Knicks this summer and with good reason. I feel very good about the squad and I think they are dynamic and potentially very exciting. However, I would be remiss as a Knicks fan to be pollyannish. It’s been a brutal stretch for fans.
On that note I’d like to share my two main concerns going into the year. Both relate to team chemistry.
1. ‘Melo casts a big shadow.
The white-hot spotlight just can’t seem to stop following the Knicks. For two years, since Donnie Walsh embarked on his cap slash-and-burn plan, the intensifying gaze from the fans and the media was set on LeBron James, Dywane Wade and Chris Bosh.
It finally ended. And no sooner did it pick up again focused instead on the likes of Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony in particular.
For all of Donnie Walsh’s successes, a by-product of his plan has been repeated chemistry woes. The rosters weren’t any good but that problem was compounded by spoiled, delusional vets thinking they earned something just because someone foolishly handed them ludicrous deals. Larry Hughes, Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury, Al Harrington, Nate Robinson. Everyone was looking out for number one because they all knew they were Knicks on borrowed time.
Donnie put together a good, young, tough squad and now there is a chance that they’ll all be looking over their respective shoulders, pressing and wondering if they should pack their bags for Denver. Granted, the guys on the current iteration aren’t like the clowns of yesteryear in that in the current stages of their careers guys like Gallo, Randolph, Chandler, TD, Walker and Azubuike should all be hungry rather than entitled. But it’s still a concern.
2. Too much depth.
Knicks fans know that Mike D’Antoni doesn’t play a deep rotation. That’s a potential issue because the Knicks are nothing if not deep. Is there really a guy on the squad who should be a 10th, 11th, 12th, man? Ok, Eddy Curry could go in the last slot, but D’Antoni has been known to go 8 or sometimes even 7 deep and change.
My best guess as to guys who are definitely in the rotation is as follows:
Maybe Mason gets in there as well. Maybe. But if not, how does he react? What about Walker? Mozgov? If one of those guys gets in, who is squeezed out?
There’s a lot to look forward to this season if you’re a Knicks fan but can they avoid chemistry pitfalls to put it all together?