The 3 Most Overstated “Facts” about the Knicks
I know, I know; the Knicks are back. I’m excited, you’re excited; we’re all excited. But, can everyone please stop getting carried away with this team analysis? We’re hardly past opening tip-off and already Knicks fans and critics alike are preaching gospel about this team like they’re doing show prep for MSG’s 2012 Season in Review. The team is 1-1. Here are the three things I don’t want to hear about the Knicks for at least the next month:
1. Carmelo Anthony is the leader of this team. No, he’s not. Carmelo is the best offensive player on the team, there is no debating that, but he is not the leader. Amare Stoudemire is the leader of the Knicks, and Tyson Chandler is soon to be his second in command. I am in no way bashing Carmelo here. ‘Melo is great; he’s just not the leader type. Amare is more vocal, more emotional, and plays better defense. And we don’t need Carmelo to be the leader; just look at history. When Carmelo won a Championship at Syracuse, Gerry McNamara and Hakim Warrick ran the locker room. If you have multiple veteran stars on your team, they don’t all need to fill the leadership role. So, for now, let Amare lead, let ‘Melo score, and let’s see what happens.
2. The Knicks’ point guards will keep them from being elite. Hold your horses, guys. We’ve barely seen Mike Bibby dribble, and there is no way of knowing what we have in Baron Davis, who, when inspired, runs a very solid, fast paced point. Also, let’s not all sell our Toney Douglas stock quite yet. Whatever happened to developing homegrown talent? How about we let this guy play a bit, run the backcourt, and see if he can’t mature into a serviceable point guard. It’s unlikely Douglas is going to blossom into the next Mark Jackson, but the next John Starks? I don’t think that’s too much to ask…
3. Tyson Chandler doesn’t need to provide offense for the Knicks to contend. Tell that to Joakim Noah and the Bulls. There will be nights when ‘Melo is cold. There will be stretches when Amare is in foul trouble or needs to rest his spasmodic back. During those times Tyson will have to be able to provide a stabilizing scoring presence near the basket. I’m not suggesting that he needs to develop a Dream Shake overnight, but he needs to be aggressive with second chance put backs and he has to exploit one-on-one coverage in the post against the leagues smaller centers. Given the pace of D’Antoni’s offense and the amount of shots that will be coming off the rim, Tyson Chandler should, and must, average more than 12 points a game.
There you have it. Of course, as much as I foresee these three topics suffocating the New York Knicks conversation for the next 6 months, I suppose it could be worse. Up against previous talking highlights like “Eddie Curry looks thin in camp,” “Isaiah Thomas may settle out of court” and “Nate Robinson looks to defend dunk crown” I’ll take these subjects any day. At least now we’re talking about winning. Let’s go Knicks!