The New York Knicks wrapped up the preseason with a 97-95 win last Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets to bring them to 3-3. The Knicks were hopeful that the damage from Hurricane Sandy cleared up enough to open up their season this Thursday night against the Brooklyn Nets but New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced it’s postponment.
With that being said we learned some things from the preseason, especially that injuries could play huge role for the Knicks this season.
It was announced that Amar’e Stoudemire will undergo knee surgery and will be out for 6-8 weeks. While Stoudemire is the 2nd best player on the team, the Knicks have shown in the past that the offense operates more efficiently with Carmelo Anthony solely running the show and especially while playing the power forward position. Anthony is a matchup nightmare at the ’4′ and can create more space for the offense to operate while working on the perimeter in isolation situations.
Aside from the injuries which will be something to definitely look out for, here are some other things to watch throughout the season. It will be interesting to see which point guard plays the big time minutes down the stretch of games Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd or both at the same time.
Staying with point guards, it will be interesting to see if the Pablo Prigioni and Jason Kidd backcourt can be as effective as it was in the preseason which I believe that it will. Chris Copeland is another player to watch as he provided a very effective scoring option for the Knicks in the preseason and due to injuries will be given the opportunity to prove himself early in the season.
In a best case scenario I see the Knicks winning around 55 games. The Knicks will not be hampered by injuries and be one of the most physical and best defensive teams in the league. Carmelo will return to glory as he will lead the league in scoring as he will be forced to carry the Knicks offense for most of the season.
That will lead the Knicks into the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since the 1990-00 season. However, as the team wins fans over across the nation with their rugged play reminding those of the 1990s Knicks teams they won’t be able to overcome the talent of the Miami Heat in the Conference Finals.