Andre Gomes NBA New York Knicks 2010-2011 Season Preview

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Andre Gomes NBA New York Knicks 2010-2011 Season Preview

 

2009/10 Review:

The New York Knicks had another horrible season last year just to add to the others awful seasons that the Franchise has presented in the last decade. This time it was all about creating the best possible conditions for the team to receive some superstar players in the upcoming offseason in expense of simply not caring about the season they were currently playing.

They didn’t make any substantial movement to improve the team, heck they got rid of their first round draft pick Jordan Hill midway the season just to receive the expiring contract of Tracy McGrady!

In a way, it is pretty easy to understand why the Knicks had such (another) terrible season, as not only they didn’t have the talent and the depth to compete in a long marathon NBA season, but also the majority of their players already knew that they wouldn’t be with the team in the following season. As much a professional player can be, it’s hard to work knowing that you won’t belong in the future of the team, you are just a mere puppet in the organization and that was the mind set for that team last season.

Is there any positive factor from last season? Well, Danilo Gallinari was able to play 81 games after his injured prone rookie season. Rookie PG Toney Douglas was able to take advantage of the horrific display from Chris Duhon and Wilson Chandler improved his shooting percentages from the field. That’s it… because only these 3 players will play in this season with a Knicks uniform!

2009/10 Advanced Stats:

Pace 9th 97.3
Offense 16th 104.8
Defense 27th 108.5
Rebounds 28th -4.51

2010/11 Outlook:

Projected Depth Chart:

PG: Raymond Felton, Toney Douglas
SG: Wilson Chandler, Kelenna Azubuike, Roger Mason, Andy Rautins
SF: Danilo Gallinari, Bill Walker, Landry Fields, Patrick Ewing Jr.
PF: Amare Stoudemire, Anthony Randolph
C: Timofey Mozgov, Ronny Turiaf, Eddy Curry

For a losing franchise and that’s the way we must call the Knicks in the last years, the organization failed once again in achieving their ultimate goal: Lebron James! The Knicks consistently got rid of their best players (which weren’t a bad thing at all), but in the end they couldn’t offer a competitive offer to Lebron James like the Heat was able to offer. After all, Pat Riley had Dwayne Wade to convince Lebron James to join Miami, while Donnie Walsh was stuck with the $11M Eddy Curry’s contract. It was easy to announce the winner.

After failing with their plan A, Walsh went after Amare Stoudemire and offered him a 5-year contract to be the cornerstone of the franchise. Although it looks like the plan doesn’t end with Amare, as the Knicks are also blinking their eyes to get Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony in the future.

Stoudemire is coming from a complete 82-games season in Phoenix, in which he was a “monster” in the second half of season. His offensive skills aren’t in doubt since he is able to remain healthy, as last season he averaged 23.1 points per game, while shooting 55.7% from the field. He is explosive near the basket, he has an effective a solid mid range jumper, he is an 80% guy from the charity stripe and… he won’t play with Steve Nash anymore. We already know how special Steve Nash is in making his teammates looking better players than they really are, just look for Shawn Marion’s career after leaving Phoenix! Amare has to prove that he can put the same kind of numbers every single game without the presence of that little guy who always found a way to fed him down low.

The Knicks’ own version of Steve Nash will be filed by Raymond Felton from the Charlotte Bobcats. Apparently the Bobcats didn’t think that Felton was good enough because they made little to no effort to retain Felton’s services this summer as a free agent. He has been a durable player through his career and last season he shot a career high 45.9% from the field and also committed 2.1 turnovers per game – a career low. His numbers in my opinion are a bit underrated because he has been playing for a perennial losing franchise that plays in a slow pace hard noised kind of game unlike the player’s friendly system that Mike D’Antoni runs with his teams.

However, Felton will have to adjust quickly to a new system because the expectations are pretty high and the Knicks fans are tired of the bad overall play from their Point Guards like Chris Duhon, Nate Robinson or Stephon Marbury in the last years.

The team is still waiting for Danilo Gallinari to break out and turns into a superstar player, but will he ever be able to make such jump? Nevertheless, he is coming from a pretty solid last season, in which he averaged 15.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 0.9 steals, 0.7 blocks and 2.3 3-pointers per game, but because he was playing for a losing team he received plenty of opportunities to play even if wasn’t playing that well. Gallo is built for this system and he has the athleticism and the IQ to be a good all around player plus he’s only 22-years old too, so the potential is there, it is just a matter of him to show it in a game to game basis.

The same opportunity to play was given to Wilson Chandler, but Chandler didn’t take advantage of it. He still averaged a respectable 15.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.7 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers last season, but just look for his 3pts% numbers between January and March: 23.8% - 37.5% - 8.3%. The word “inconsistency” makes sense for him, right? Chandler won’t have the patient that the organization had for him in the past, so it’s better that he finds some consistency on his game or else his future in New York will be in danger.

Donnie Walsh signed Roger Mason and Kelenna Azubuike to complete the backcourt and these two players have the reputation to be good long range shooters. Kelenna Azubuike played only 9 games last season in Golden State, but he is a flashy combo guard who already knows how to play in a fast tempo system, while Roger Mason has the experience in playing for a winning franchise.

From all the Walsh’s acquisitions in this offseason, none of them have the potential to be a terrific signing than Anthony Randolph sign. In his days in Golden State, he was stuck in Don Nelson’s doghouse for strange reasons because the Warriors were depleted in the frontcourt. Still, as a starter (30 starts), he has averaged 11.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.0 steals in just 25.1 minutes per game. Because of his quickness for his position, he is a potential matchup nightmare for his opponents, but he needs to remain healthy first and be consistent next. He’s only 21 years old, so Mike D’Antoni has the task to polish this pure diamond because he can really push this franchise to the next level.

For the center position, the Knicks signed Ronny Turiaf and he is an energetic player that has the ability to be an instant fan favorite. However, the truly underrated center of this team is the Russian Timofey Mozgov, who is a rare true big center in this league with his 7-1 & 250 lbs. frame and he showed some skills in the last FIBA World Championship. Lamar Odom referred him before the matchup between USA and Russia as being “their Wilt Chamberlain”.  It’s up to D’Antoni to be patient and help him to integrate into a new country, a new league and a new system. If he is capable of doing that, then the Knicks will have a pleasant surprise because Mozgov provides the defensive presence that the team simply doesn’t have right now.

Definitely the Knicks have an improved roster when compared to the last seasons, but the “plan” wasn’t just to improve, instead the Knicks have the word domination in their minds, so we might be surprised with a major addition (CP3 and/or Carmelo Anthony) somewhere in the future. Right now we are dealing with an unbalanced team and Mike D’Antoni has to work fast to find the right chemistry and the proper rotations. Behind the Celtics, the division is really wide open and the Knicks have legit chances to be present in the postseason.

  • Mozgov has been a nice surprise for the Knicks but still he has a long road to go in the NBA. He played limited minutes in his Russian club Khimki last season, but gained some attention when he played for his national team. However in both teams he played in a slow paced system, so playing in a run and gun system won’t be easy for him to adjust besides all the cultural changes. The Knicks will improve in the rebounding department but still I don’t see them being a top 15 in this area. Actually, down the stretch I can see the Knicks’ using Amare Stoudemire as a center and Anthony Randolph at the Power Forward position.

  • Andre,

    Been waiting for this one. What do you make of the new look centre position in Mozgov/Turiaf in a division where they need to take on O'Neal's/Perkins, Lopez, Bargnani/Andersen (haha gotta support the countryman)? What sort of a transition does Mozgov make? This team is going to take some time to come together with all these acquisitions particularly with Amare-Felton being the playmakers.