Well, it wasn’t quite a “nuclear winter”, but we got pretty close. To be fair, the CBA has not officially been signed, but we currently have a tentative agreement between both parties that is expected to be passed.
Out last roundtable about the draft received a great response, so I thought I would bring some of the most intelligent Knick bloggers back in to chat it up before the season begins!
Below are the participants of today’s roundtable:
- Dan Miranda is the creator of KnicksVision, a site that should be in your bookmarks if it is not already. Follow him on Twitter @DanMirandaNYK.
- Dan L is one of the best bloggers in not only the Knicks’ blogosphere , but the blogosphere as a whole. Additionally, he is a must follow on Twitter @KnicksFanBlog. Be sure to check out his website, Knicksfan.net.
- Charlie Zegers is the man behind basketball.about.com, but more importantly, a great Knicks blogger and fan! Follow him on twitter @CharlieZegers.
- Jamie O’Grady Runs the LoHud Knicks Blog, but is not limited to writing about the Knicks! He is a master baseball writer, as well. Follow him on twitter @LohudKnicks
- Seth Rosenthal is the LEGEND behind Posting And Toasting, an SB-Nation hosted blog. He likes exotic animals. Follow Seth on twitter @Seth_Rosenthal.
- Tommy Dee runs TheKnicksBlog.com, an SNY blog that is devoted to all things Knicks. If you don’t know who Tommy is, I don’t think you’ve read too much about the Knicks. Check him out on Twitter @TommyDeeTKB .
Now, without further ado, let’s get into it!
Q: Describe your feelings about the lockout.
It was a waste of time and horrible PR to the NBA, but it has made diehard fans really appreciate the product. “You don’t truly love something until it’s lost.”
Mostly, I’m glad it’s over. I continue to think both sides handled the negotiation badly; they could have achieved this deal without missing the first seven weeks of the season. But I like most of the changes – or, at least, I like the ideas behind them. One of my biggest complaints about the NBA in the past has been the fact that one bad contract could hamstring a team for years. Under the new CBA, with the amnesty clause and the “stretch” provision on waivers, we shouldn’t see teams stuck in a downward spiral, waiting for contracts to expire.
Glad it’s over! At this point I don’t even care which side was more responsible because I’m just looking forward to some basketball. Is there still some lingering bitterness? Sure, but I’m just relieved that we can focus on what we actually care about.
The entire process was an absolute sh*tshow. Neither side demonstrated the least bit of care for their dollar-stretched constituency, the fans. Now, sadly, the product will ultimately suffer with a condensed 66-game season, and injuries to players almost surely will rise. That said, I am extremely excited about NBA basketball’s return, and I hope everyone else is too.
I hate it as much as anyone has ever hated anything ever. When it’s officially over, I’m going to pretend it never happened.
I truly never thought that the season would be canceled. I felt like the digital age of media made us all forget about 1998-99. No one was going to pass up on that much money. It came down to the players holding firm and getting the best deal they could get, and they did. Fans have to understand that it’s a business, as cliché as that is, but it’s true. The NBA was willing to risk the small percentage of fans that will never return to the game.
Q. What are you most looking forward to this upcoming season?
Honestly, just most looking forward to going to the Garden with family and friends and enjoying the atmosphere. The environment truly is what makes Knicks games so spectacular.
I imagine I’m not alone in wondering what Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire will be able to do when both are healthy. One or both were hurt for much of ‘Melo’s tenure in New York, but we saw glimpses of a very interesting team. I’m also eager to see what Mike D’Antoni can do with a team that’s actually built to play ball, and not designed to facilitate the next big roster move.
Seeing if the STAT/Melo/Billups Knicks can gel, since they’re starting the season together and are presumably healthy. I’m not looking forward to the roster moves that I think are inevitable midseason (I wrote about them recently on my blog). We’ve had enough of those the last 4 years.
Like most people who follow the Knicks, I am very interested to see if Amare and Melo will even try to commit to a bona-fide two-man-game approach. I believe that playing off one another would make the Knicks’ two superstars virtually indefensible. I’m also curious how D’Antoni will sink or swim now that the excuses of seasons-past are almost certainly unavailable to him.
Iman Shumpert. Everything I’ve seen from the last few months– college highlights, radio interviews, Impact League performances, Twitter posts, workout videos– has me convinced that Shump is a prophet descended from the heavens to guide the Knicks to the promised land. With so much time for anticipation and so little actual exposure, I’m giddy to see what Iman can do. I should probably go outside some times.
Continuing to be a part of and telling the story of the Knicks progression. This year will be another step forward for the Knicks. They need to get into the top 4 of the Eastern Conference, so they can host home games in the playoffs before hitting the road. I also look forward to the other NBA story lines. Kobe, D. Rose, Boston and, of course, the Heat.
Q: Who are 1-2 guys you would like the Knicks to try and sign?
Clearly, the team needs size… but because they’re looking to make a run at the big 2012 free agents, I don’t think they’ll offer anyone a multi-year deal. Kurt Thomas might be the best possible option, and he’d work on quite a few levels – he’d give the team some size and toughness, but he can also hit a mid-range jumper. If not Thomas, Jeff Foster might be an option.
I’d love to see Shawne Williams back with the team as well – I really liked what he brought last year.
This offseason? I’m only looking at guys who would take 1 year deals. I’d love the Knicks to add toughness and leadership. If they’ll come over on 1 year deals, I’d love to see Kurt Thomas, Jeff Foster and Grant Hill.
What makes sense versus what is feasible are two very different things. The team cannot sacrifice its payroll flexibility for 2012, so if it means overspending, I’d rather see them do nothing more than fill out the roster. If affordable, some guys that make sense include Grant Hill, Kurt Thomas, Kyrylo Fesenko and Kenyon Martin.
I’d very much like them to bring back Shawne Williams, and I’m hoping that both Josh Harrellson and Jerome Jordan prove suitable. For backcourt depth, I’d be satisfied if they just bring back Anthony Carter. I’m not looking for anything major.
Realistically, they can offer an exemption if they are above the cap or below it. They need help up front for sure, but they also need help from the perimeter. Being able to knock down open jumpers spreads the defense out and helps Melo and Amar’e isolate and force double teams. I’d be okay with a number of guys: Jeff Foster, Kurt Thomas, Chuck Hayes. Jason Kapono, and even Peja Stojakovic.
Q: What is your predication for the Knicks this year? How far do you see them getting?
It will mainly depend on if the roster has been doing training during the extended offseason, but I think a realistic expectation for the team is the Conference Finals.
Have to be conservative on this, as we don’t really know what the Knick, Celtic or Sixer rosters will look like on December 25. But I’ll say they finish a close second in the Atlantic, fifth overall in the East, and win a first-round playoff series.
Second round? That’d be nice.
In a lockout-shortened season, with a shortened training camp and a new cast of characters, I think 38 wins and advancing beyond the first round of the playoffs would have to be considered a success.
I don’t think I’m ready for this yet, so let’s just say the Knicks will go 66-0, be crowned NBA champions, and all get elected to be Presidents of America.
If they address up front needs and the perimeter offense they are certainly a 48-52 win team. I like the addition of Mike Woodson. People talk about Woodson as a defensive guy, but he knows the Eastern Conference as well as anyone. He also knows the Hawks, obviously, who the Knicks will have to battle to get into the top 4.
Aaaand, that’s a wrap!
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