Every week at Turn On The Knicks our staff will debate an issue of the week surrounding the team here in Roundtable Format. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter, and follow the site right here. Let us know if you agree/disagree.
What do you hope to see from the Knicks during their first week of action?
Joe Caporoso - It would be nice to see the Knicks finally go into Chicago and a get win, while avoiding 2-4 technical fouls, wouldn’t it? Beyond that, let’s hope Mike Woodson’s rotation juggling starts off on the right foot. It sounds like he is going to roll with Carmelo Anthony at the 4 and Metta World Peace at the 3 in the starting line-up which is a positive but it remains to be seen how the bulk of the minutes will be divided up and what the crunch time line-up will end up being. I’m also curious to see how aggressive and competently Iman Shumpert plays on offense, particularly in the absence of JR Smith. Finally, please Mike Woodson…don’t be shy on the PABLO minutes! Let the man play!
Chris Celletti - Firstly, I’m going to be interested to see how Mike Woodson handles the many possible lineups this team can trot out there. Its sounding like Woody is leaning towards (correctly, in my mind) starting Carmelo Anthony at the power forward, and has already stated that Iman Shumpert will start at shooting guard. Obviously, Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler are in their usual spots, so that leaves one “small forward” spot open. The way the Knicks have used Andrea Bargnani during the preseason makes it seem like the final starting spot is going to Metta World Peace. Now, we know with Mike Woodson that those who play the most minutes, and play the crucial minutes, doesn’t have much to do with who starts the game. I’m expecting a few close finishes with Milwaukee and Chicago, and will be very interested to see who Woody gives the big minutes to. Does Ron-Ron sit and Bargnani play down the stretch?
Outside of that, I really hope to see a few dual-point guard lineups – I especially want to see one where Pablo Prigioni and Beno Udrih share the floor. That may not be the best defensive duo, but boy would the ball move a lot on offense, wouldn’t it? Also, how both Amare Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin look, when and IF they play, will be worthy of everyone’s attention. And I haven’t even mentioned Tim Hardaway, Jr.
Kevin Smith - The Knicks have three games this week, but the contest I’ll be judging them by is Thursday night’s matchup in Chicago. All I’m hoping for is improvement over last season, when the Knicks were swept by the Bulls and proved to be neither physically or mentally tough enough to hang with them. When things broke down for the Knicks last year, they would totally lose their cool, resulting in physical altercations with other players and incessant whining at the refs. Joakim Noah is the ring leader of causing this type of behavior. I hope that the 2013-14 New York Knicks are much more mature and can handle when things aren’t going their way.
Aaron Jacobs - In week one of the NBA season the Knicks will play back-to-back games vs. the Milwaukee Bucks and at the Chicago Bulls, followed by a quick return home Sunday to play the Minnesota Timberwolves. I think the Knicks will need to win two of those three just to show they are still even as good as last year. It will be interesting to see how Metta World Peace fits into the starting lineup, if the rumors are true that he will start at small forward. Another quandary early this season will be how Mike Woodson handles the lineup changes and who plays with who. He will need to figure out how to play Andrea Bargnani, Kenyon Martin and Amare Stoudemire who all play the same position on the floor, unless you count Bargnani as a center.
Aside from the obvious big names with question marks I will also be interested to see how Tim Hardaway Jr. plays, because he will have the opportunity to do so early with J.R. Smith serving a 5 game suspension. The Knicks picked up the option on Iman Shumpert which must mean they want to keep him long term in orange and blue, I expect him to take that next step, but will injuries keep him from filling his potential? I believe Shump will turn the corner and become that second/third scoring option for the Knicks, especially if that three pointer becomes consistent. My last thing to watch for early will probably have the biggest impact on the season as a whole, that would be injuries. Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin and Pablo Prigioni all had major to nagging injuries throughout the year, it will be up to Woodson to keep these guys fresh for an entire season, even if it means sacrificing wins, because the Knicks will be judged for what they do in the postseason.