It‚ is time to put the Knicks in perspective. Thanks to LeBron James and the star collection that is the Miami Heat, the average NBA fan has come to view unions of star players as indications that teams will dominate. This is a shame, because the game of basketball‚ particularly at the professional level‚ is about more than star power. Sure, the Lakers could win with Shaq and Kobe ‚but so could the Pistons when nobody was even sure who (in a lineup of Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups) their best player was. So, while it is still a good idea to head to http://www.cabletelevision.net and make sure you have the TV package you need to watch as much Knicks basketball as possible, this is not because the combination of Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony is necessarily championship-worthy. Down the road, this team could win a lot of games, but there are a few general observations, some positive and some negative, that people need to accept.
1.) Carmelo and Amare are not complimentary stars. Stop trying to get around this fact, Knicks fans ‚know it’s true. Does that mean that they can’t both have good games, or a good season? No. Lebron and D-Wade aren’t complimentary stars either, and they made the finals in their first attempt together. It is certainly a GREAT thing to have both Melo and Amare on your team‚ but don’t get carried away thinking they’re going to specifically compliment each other the way that, say, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will. They may be compatible at best‚ complimentary isn’t in the cards with these two.
2.) Tyson Chandler isn’t enough defense. Was Chandler a good pickup? Absolutely‚ one of the best of the offseason. But Knicks fans and analysts seem to think that he’s solved the team’s defensive woes all by himself. Chandler takes up a lot of space and guards the basket, but this is still a team full of offensive-minded players and led by a coach known almost exclusively for pushing offensive intensity. You have to start somewhere, and Chandler’s a good start, but this team is still lacking defensively. Need proof? The Bobcats put up 118 on the Knicks last week.
3.) The backcourt is far from hopeless. The sports media seems to have gotten this idea in its head that the Knicks are strong up front but have no guards. So, the surprise good news for Knicks fans, though the team still has a long way to go, is that this backcourt has performed just fine so far. Toney Douglas is underrated, and rookie Iman Shumpert has jumped in more quickly than expected (and may ultimately provide some good defensive help as well). Furthermore, Baron Davis is on his way as he recovers from injury, and when Baron Davis cares, as he’s expected to for New York and the big stage, he’s still a top tier point guard. The backcourt’s development may help this team meet expectations.