Eddy Curry. A proven low-post scorer with the ability to be a powerhouse down low with several finesse moves around the basket.
Zach Randolph. Another proven low post scorer, but is quite the opposite in his approach, in that he is more a finesse player down low, but he still has the ability to bang with the best of them. He also is a proven rebounder.
Renaldo Balkman. An electrifying young player with the ability to do it all. He can defend at a level very few in the league can. He can rebound, score, and handle the ball. He makes all of the hustle plays and is a dangerous scorer around the rim with his explosive moves to the basket.
Jamal Crawford. A shooting guard that loves to shoot. Can get off a shot at any point in the shot clock, and is dangerous with the ball with the game on the line and clock winding down.
Stephon Marbury. A grizzled vet who showed a lot of heart last season in trying to rebound from a bad season under Larry Brown. He seems to have gotten his step back, and is proving that he is still capable of being a difference maker from the point guard position with an elevation in his scoring and defense.
This is the New York Knicks’ most likely starting line up going into the 2007-2008 NBA season. I would say that it looks good on paper. When you factor in players like David Lee, Quentin Richardson, Jared Jefferies and rookie Wilson Chandler will be coming off the bench, this team could be something to reckon with in the East.
The New York Knicks had an up and down season last year. They never lost more than three or four games in a row, and they never won more than two or three games in row. But despite that, they played .500 ball from January on, and were in the hunt for the playoffs until about the last week or so of the season.
The Knicks’ problems from last year were mainly on the defensive side. They couldn’t stop anyone from scoring. They gave up a ton of points to guards in the paint, and that is due to two things. One, the perimeter defense was lacking. Secondly, the interior defense was non-existent. One of those two things needed to be improved to make the defense better this season, and if Renaldo Balkman does end up playing a starter’s type of minutes, that will be a piece of the puzzle. However, the interior defense is just straight poor with Randolph, Lee and Curry as the big men who will get the large portion of the minutes down low.
But for as many points as the Knicks’ big men will give up on defense, they should make them up on offense. Eddy Curry was a 19 point/game scorer last season, and Zach Randolph averaged a double-double, scoring over 20 points a game. This should make them formidable, despite their lack of defensive ability.
Now, with the New York Knicks knowing how to win games, it is important that they play with some consistency. It would also be nice if they could sure up some defense from a player who could play both sides of the ball. Maybe Quentin Richardson could be that person, but more than likely, that person will have to come from outside of the team’s current roster.
But of course, there is still the chance that they trade for a young man named Ron Artest. And that could be the missing link for a city that still wants to call itself the Mecca of basketball.