3 Things To Watch For In Knicks Opener
The New York Knicks enter the 2015-16 season with only one way to go, and that's up. Last season was an awful season for the Knickerbockers, and I mean it literally was the worst season in franchise history.
Head coach Derek Fisher is coming into his second season as a head coach, and is in dyer need to have a good start to the season. “You never know who you really are until you get punched in the mouth,” Fisher says. “When we get punched in the mouth, that's when we'll find out who we are.”
The Knicks open the season Wednesday night with the young surging Milwaukee Bucks, a team that is looking to come out the gate and make a statement, and that may be the first blow for the Knicks.
With a plethora of young new additions to the team and savvy veterans, here are the biggest things to watch for in the Knicks season opener.
1. How will Kristaps Porzingis find a rhythm in this offense?
Porzingis should have been watching film on Pau Gasol all offseason. If the 20-year old wants to find himself with a key role in the Knicks offense, he will need to be able to hit that mid range jumper that Gasol has earned a living by hitting, while also being a key shotblocker. With Aaron Afflalo out to start the season look for the Knicks to get the young gun in a rhythm early into the game. “This is my rookie year. I'm just trying to find my game,” Porzingis says. “So the most important thing is to win games, get some wins, and then later on everything else will fall in place.”
That's a great mentality to have, but this is New York you don't get time to find yourself. He will find out exactly why Carmelo Anthony wakes up and says F*** New York.
2. Will the Knicks be able to become the fast paced team they want to be.
There's no question that the Knicks are trying to become a faster paced team after last season being ranked 27th in pace (Plays per 48 minutes.) “It's not just for the sake of running up and down, playing faster,” Fisher says. “I think there still has to be purpose to what you're doing. So it'll be important we're … trying to score before the defense gets set. But at the same time, trusting that if we don't we can cut hard and move hard, still have some pace even in the half court.”
The Knicks have become a much more athletic team with the additions of rookie Jerian Grant, free agent signings Derek Williams, Arron Afflalo, Kyle O'Quinn, and Robin Lopez.
The root of the problem was never the surrounding cast. It's the stoppage of flow from Carmelo Anthony. Melo will need to evolve into someone who can work with a flow. Posting up at the elbow every time for five seconds before making your move will kill an offense.
3. How will Carmelo Anthony lead.
There's been a lot of talk all offseason of Melo not liking the Knicks draft picks, then he came out as a huge fan of the Knicks offseason moves, especially the one acquiring his long time friend and sharp shooter Aaron Afflalo, but now it's time to man up.
Melo has to come into the game tonight and demand more out of everyone on the Knicks team, he is the money man, the all-star, and the captain of this team. If the Knicks go down and he shows a bad mentality then the Knicks will be looking at another long season, except this one will have no lottery pick at the end of it.