NBA Question of the Day: Is this the year the Knicks turn it around?
Is this the year the Knicks turn it around?
From now until the start of NBA training camps, we’ll be asking a question about the league and its upcoming season. Today: Is this the year the Knicks turn it around?
BOSTON – Headlines and headaches seem to go hand-in-hand when it comes to the New York Knicks.
So why should this season be any different?
The Knicks are in the news quite a bit these days, but certainly not for any reasons they should feel good about.
Instead of talking about the upcoming season or how their Big Three (Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose) will mesh with rising stud Kristaps Porzingis, most of the Knicks inquiries at this point center around Rose and the $21.5 million civil lawsuit filed against him by “Jane Doe” who alleges that Rose, along with two friends, gang-raped her. The trial is scheduled to start Oct. 4 – Derrick Rose’s 28th birthday.
Regardless of how this shakes out, it will indeed be an issue and likely distraction for a team that has a very small margin of error when it comes to success.
This will eventually serve as one of several reasons as to why this New York Big Three will be a colossal dud this season.
One of the big challenges for any team comprised of multiple superstars, is getting them on the same page at both ends of the floor. Carmelo Anthony has been at his best for years with the ball in his hands. Ditto for Rose. Joakim Noah has shown he can be a difference-maker primarily because of his rebounding and defense. So Noah more than any other Knicks player, should have little problem fitting in with his new teammates.
It's unclear how having Noah around will impact Porzingis in terms of playing time as well as his overall growth and development as a player.
The real intriguing part will be how Porzingis adapts to playing with Noah and vice versa.
As we mentioned earlier, Rose’s court case isn’t likely to end anytime soon unless a settlement is reached and at this point, that just doesn’t seem all that likely.
If that’s the case, there will be days in which the Knicks’ players will have to handle the barrage of questions that will be awaiting them after every practice and preseason game that Rose isn’t there to play in.
And when he is around, that will surely be the topic of the day, every day. Rose can try and brush it under the rug and try and keep moving, but that’s a lot easier said than done … especially in New York.
The biggest problem with the court case from a team standpoint, is it will have a negative impact on the team’s ability to play well with and off of each other.
If Rose is going to miss practices and potentially games as well, it will only make the adjustment period for him and his teammates longer which will make what should be a challenging season all the more difficult.
Adding Derrick Rose from a talent perspective made sense for the New York Knicks. Bringing in Joakim Noah was also a talent upgrade.
But both former Chicago Bulls present their own set of injury-related concerns as well.
Rose’s won league MVP in 2011, but has been an injury-riddled shell of himself ever since.
In the past four seasons, Rose has averaged 41.5 games played. Prior to that, the 6-foot-3 guard averaged appearing in 80 games per season.
Factor in the possibility that he may miss games due to court dates related to the civil suit regarding gang rape allegations made against him, and it becomes increasingly tougher for the Knicks to get a true feel for just how much they can expect from Rose this season.
Noah doesn’t present anything remotely close to the questions off the court that Rose does, but that doesn’t make him any lesser of a basketball risk.
He was limited to just 29 games last season, a career-low for the
The health news isn’t that much better for Noah who appeared in just 29 games last season while battling a slew of injuries.
Never much of a scorer, Noah averaged career lows scoring (4.3) as well as shooting from the field (38.3 percent) and free throw line (48.9 percent).
As easy as it would be to write Noah off, consider this.
It was just two years ago where he was arguably the best defensive player in the league which was evident by him being named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.
The Knicks know it’s unlikely Noah will get back to playing at the level he did two years ago. But if he can deliver in a way that’s trending in that direction and away from the struggles he endured last season, acquiring him will be worth it.
As for Carmelo Anthony, he has had to battle his share of bumps and bruises but for the most part they haven’t led to him having to miss a lot of games.
Good health will indeed have to be one of the many things that has to break right for the Knicks as they enter a season once again making headlines for all the wrong reasons.