I’ve been thinking about this for a little bit now. I mean, it’s a legit question, right? Could the Knicks be good enough to reach The Finals? They’ve jumped out to a great 7-1 record early this season and ‘Melo is looking primed to take his team as far as he can. So what’s my answer to the question?
Sure, Anthony is always going to play well and his numbers are going to stay high. He’ll be an MVP candidate all season like he usually is and he will try to push his team to its limits in any way he can. Good on him.
Raymond Felton is playing much better this year as well. He was out of shape in the lockout shortened season last year and he just looked silly trying to guard those other point guards. But now that he’s playing well, it’s helping to heal the wound of trading away Jeremy Lin. As did the trade for Jason Kidd.
Mike Woodson is a great coach too, don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved what I’ve seen from him so far and at the tail end of last season. But he knows they’ve got a lot more work to do to contend with the likes of Miami, Boston and an upcoming Brooklyn team.
Here’s where the Knicks major issues lie. In a guy named Amar’e Stoudemire. He’s injured right now and the Knicks are playing great ball. Coincidence? I think not. The exact same thing happened last year several times. When he’s out, ‘Melo fits his role better, leading the team and scoring at will as the offence flows through him.
But ah, therein lies the rub. When both ‘Melo and Stoudemire take to the floor, the team changes completely. They no longer have that ‘flow’ that they do when Stoudemire is gone. Each of them try to play a little game of, “Now it’s my turn, now it’s your turn” basketball. And that just won’t cut it.
What can you do? You can’t get rid of Stoudemire due to his contract and there’s no way that New York will give up Anthony. But the two just don’t play well together.
So, what if somehow the Knicks enter the post-season without Stoudemire’s interference? Well, we’ve already seen this movie. Anthony does need help. There is no way he can handle the load by himself in a 7 game series against a juggernaut like Miami. He just can’t do it. We’ve seen him score huge numbers against the Heat in the playoffs the past two seasons. But he’s come up short every time because he needs someone else by his side.
The problem is, S.T.A.T. is not the guy he needs.
The two just don’t compliment each other at all. And this is why, no matter what, the New York Knicks will not be going to The Finals this season unless something drastic happens. They might cause an uproar or two, but they still can’t seriously contend with the big boys when they’re still dealing with how to play their two stars.
Sorry, New York, but you’ve still got work to do.