2015-16 NBA Previews – Knicks
The New York Knicks are looking to rebound from a dismal performance last season with a new look roster featuring several offseason acquisitions. Carmelo Anthony is coming off knee surgery and will need to lead this cast of young players if the Knicks want to avoid another disappointing season.
New York Knicks Season Preview
Head Coach: Derek Fisher
2014 Record: 17-65
Knicks Odds to NBA Title: 200/1
Knicks Odds to Win Conference: 100/1
One obvious strength for this Knicks team starts with Carmelo Anthony. He’s one of the most established and prolific pure scorers in the game right now. His offensive game is polished – he can shoot the three, dominate the low block, and hit the mid-range jumper.
Having someone like Carmelo – who is a threat to go for 30 just about every night – makes the Knicks a team worth watching.
Aside from Carmelo, the Knicks added several players this offseason to fill the roles of their Triangle offense.
Robin Lopez’s biggest asset is what he brings on defense but he will also add an inside presence on offense. Lopez isn’t a strong post presence but is a great offensive rebounder.
In addition to Lopez, the Knicks will welcome Arron Afflalo to their starting lineup. They are hoping for him to bring some consistency to the shooting guard position – something they have lacked over the last several years.
Another strength for this Knicks team is their depth of young players. The 82 game season wears on the players so having a collection of fresh legs will benefit the Knicks down the stretch.
Jerian Grant, Cleanthony Early, Langston Galloway, Kristaps Porzingis, and Derrick Williams will be able to provide significant minutes in order to help keep some of their older guys fresh.
While the Knicks have youth and that could pay dividends in terms of staying fresh as a team, the inexperience will lead to some growing pains. Jose Calderon has had some durability issues over the last few years and the Knicks will be relying on Grant and Galloway to do a lot of ball-handling.
While Galloway adapted to the pro game remarkably quick and Grant was a standout college point guard, they are going to make mistakes.
When the offense isn’t running smoothly or the guards are turning the ball over, that is when Carmelo starts playing 1 on 5. And, that is when the Knicks are at their worst.
He is a great scorer but when they run their offense and shots are created for him, he shoots more efficiently and the overall offensive rhythm is better.
When he tries to do it on his own, no one else can get in a rhythm and Carmelo wears himself out.
Another weakness for the Knicks is their scoring production drops off significantly after Carmelo. They are counting on Afflalo to be that number two option for them. If he can’t do that, they will be in big trouble when Carmelo is on the bench or if he misses games.
Given his injury history and his offseason surgery, the Knicks will probably rest him during busy stretches to keep him healthy.
Knicks 2015 Betting Prediction:
The Knicks season win betting total is 29.5. After a 17 win season, going over that total would mean the Knicks would nearly have to double the amount of wins from 2014. They whiffed on most of the offseason free agents they were targeting.
Carmelo is coming off knee surgery so it could be difficult to imagine him playing more than 70 games.
However, the Knicks opening day roster from last year was not a 17 win team. When it became clear that the Knicks weren’t going anywhere, Phil Jackson decided to reload the roster a little bit by trading away movable assets.
This Knicks team is not a contender to win the East by any means.
But they could compete for the eighth playoff spot. More than likely the Knicks will not be in the playoffs. But they will certainly win more than 30 games.
Knicks Key Personnel Losses:
Tim Hardaway, Jr, Andrea Bargnani, Quincy Acy, Jason Smith, Shane Larkin, Cole Aldrich.
Hardaway was lost in a trade in order to acquire Grant. None of the other losses probably hurt the Knicks that much. Smith and Acy provided offensive sparks from time to time but nothing that can’t be replaced.
Knicks Top Newcomers:
Arron Afflalo, Robin Lopez, Kevin Seraphin, Sasha Vujacic, Derrick Williams, Kristaps Porzingis, Jerian Grant, Kyle O’Quinn
The first round pick spent on Porzingis had many NBA fans scratching their head. The Knicks organization loves his potential but he likely won’t provide much this year.
Afflalo and Lopez will both start and are expected to contribute significantly to the Knicks success.
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