Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2012 NBA Preview: New York Knicks

With the NBA season a little over a week away, I figured I'd throw my two cents in on how I see things playing out.  These projections were created using Wins Produced (WP) from the Wages of Wins Journal and The NBA Geek.  To gauge how rookies and incoming international players, I used the amazing projections of Arturo Galletti.  If you haven't read any of that stuff, you should.  I'll start with the surprising dominant (???) New York Knicks.  Enjoy.

New York Knicks 57-25 (1st Atlantic)

TOP NINE PRODUCTION (numbers listed are WP)
PG Raymond Felton1.8
SG J.R. Smith2.2
SF Carmelo Anthony4
PF Amare Stoudemire1.2
C Tyson Chandler13.3
F/G Ronnie Brewer6.1
F Steve Novak3
G Jason Kidd4.1
C Marcus Camby7.5

On paper, the Knicks had a very productive off-season.  The additions of Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, and Ronnie Brewer add 19.5 2011-12 Wins Produced, which more than makes up for the 9.3 WP that left with Landry Fields and Jeremy Lin.  Of course, Kidd and Camby are ancient, and the bottom  could drop out on either at any moment.  The returns from Camby are also limited by the presence of Tyson Chandler, who produced at an MVP-level last year.  Brewer, meanwhile, will have his minutes limited by coach Mike Woodson's insistence on starting the uber-streaky J.R. Smith at the two.

From his last season in Charlotte in 2009 until he was traded to the Nuggets in the Carmelo Anthony-package, Raymond Felton was a well-above-average point guard.  Ever since then, however, he has been terrible, bottoming out in Portland last year with career-lows in nearly every category.  If he can at least regain his career-average performance levels during his second trip to the Big Apple, Felton and Kidd should make Linsanity seem like a crazy fad.

The biggest keys for the Knicks, of course, are how Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire produce.  Anthony was a major disappointment for most of last season.  He battled injuries, got Mike D'Antoni fired, and basically destroyed any goodwill that had existed following his arrival in New York.  Following an injury to Stoudemire that forced Anthony to man the 4-spot, however, 'Melo played like a man possessed, averaging nearly 30 points and 8 boards over the last 12 games.  The preseason injury to Stoudemire's knee should give Anthony a chance to match his dynamite performance as an undersized power forward, and the Knicks may be secretly hoping Amare's injury keeps him out longer.  Stoudemire was well-below average when he did play last year, while Carmelo's late-season performance extrapolates to 10.4 WP over an 82-game season.  If he comes anywhere near that production, 57 wins will look like a gross undersell.


  1. I think you'll be grossly disappointed if you're expecting the Knicks to win 55+ games. There's absolutely no reason to think Ray Felton will get back to his 2011 level; he's out of shape and no longer playing for Mike D'Antoni. With no Iman Shumphert for at least half the year, there's absolutely no wing stopper on this squad. And while I agree Carmelo is a superstar when he plays the 4, let's face it - Mike Woodson is too stubborn to bring Amare off the bench. I'm boldy picking the Knicks to MISS the playoffs this season.

  2. I wouldn't say I'd be disappointed. I kind of hate the Knicks, so seeing them fail would be alright by me. The biggest reason they probably will fall short of this projection is injuries. Kidd, Camby, Rasheed, and Kurt Thomas are ancient, and to expect more than 65 games from any of them is pushing it. Amare and Chandler are hardly bastions of good health,and even Melo has had nagging injuries the past few years. While I love Shumpert's potential, I think he's a bit overvalued due to the hype machine that is the New York news cycle. Brewer should be able to exceed anything Shumpert was going to give them, and will also allow Iman to ease back from his injury. I'm pumped you read this, and I'm pumped for the season to begin!