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07-07-2013, 11:21 AM
Two Pucks, One Cup
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Originally Posted by Zil View Post
If your ultimate goal is building a legitimate title contender, then yes, the Knicks are incredibly flawed. They are neither an actual contender or a team with the assets, young talent, and roster flexibility to make the leap to being one.

I've always contended that Lin is an overrated backup pg and Fields is a mediocre role player.

They took advantage of a weak, injury wracked Eastern Conference to nab a second seed. If that's your goal, then mission accomplished I guess. Even then, the chances of them repeating that performance this year are highly suspect.

If you think this is a strong roster, then you're delusional. Are names like Felton, Bargnani, Prigioni, Smith, and Stoudemire supposed to be impressive? I actually like Shumpert and Chandler, but come on:

Carmelo - Is very, very good at what he does, but does very, very little. He scores, he rebounds, and he uses his strength in the post.
Felton - In a league where everyone seems to have at least an above average pg, Felton is the definition of mediocrity.
Bargnani - Is just terrible at everything. He hasn't even shot well the last few years.
Prigioni - Is a nice backup pg woohoo.
Smith - Is the prototypical hot and cold volume bench scorer without the faintest inkling of basketball iq.
Stoudemire - Can't stay healthy and can't play defense.

You have a fundamental lack of understanding of NBA roster construction. Where are these title teams that aren't incredibly well constructed? The Heat roster that has won the last two titles fits together perfectly. Yes they have LeBron, but they have also surrounded him with three point shooters who space the floor and force the opposition to either single team him or leave someone like Ray Allen wide open. You cannot run the kind of crazy misdirection, small-ball sets they feature with just two stars and a random assortment of role players.

Thinking it's ok to dump first round picks because they're not likely to turn into stars is exactly the kind of process that leaves you with the current Knicks roster. Constantly developing useful young talent on rookie contracts is how teams maintain roster flexibility. There's a reason you never see a team like the Spurs just haphazardly dump a draft pick. In a salary cap league you have to maintain your options. Also, drafting a lot of productive young players is how you accumulate the assets to deal for superstars when they actually become available.

The Knicks are fine in the same way the Rangers were fine during the Jagr years. Good enough to sell tickets and maybe win a round in the playoffs, but nothing more.

The supposed promised land of cap space and superstars the Knicks will reach in two years faces the same problem the Lakers are having convincing Dwight Howard to stay: If all you have is a bunch of cap space and no talent to surround potential star free agents with, then star free agents aren't going to want to sign with you.

All of this is really insignificant, because three years ago, the Knicks werent a playoff team. Two years ago, the Knicks were a borderline playoff team, and last year, the Knicks were title contenders.

People can dissect the roster all they want. You can find flaws in every roster. The reason why the Heat win is because they have Lebron James. The reason why the Knicks were an elite team this year was because of Melo and veteran depth.

That hasn't changed. The Knicks improved their roster from a year ago.

They have the best scorer in the league, the best 6th man in the league, and two of the best defenders in the league -- all 30 or younger. Those four give the Knicks flexibility to plug and play with whatever role and bench players they want. Add felton, who is certainly a capable PG who understands his role, and you have a very solid, well-built roster.

The current Knicks roster? Yep. One of the best in the EC. I'll take it.

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