Blog Entry

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

Posted on: September 1, 2010 8:34 am
Edited on: September 1, 2010 9:30 pm
Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question..

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

The Knicks are brand new. Fresh out the oven, piping hot, clean waxed, new car smell, brand spankin' new. And that's certainly a good thing as all but the last remnants of the epic failboat that was built there over the last decade have been cleansed and a new team stand in its place, faster, younger, and better built to contend. The Knicks have a bonafide star in Amar'e Stoudemire, a solid point guard in Raymond Felton, a tantalizing wing in Danilo Gallinari, a workhorse in Ronny Turiaf, a floor-spreader in Kelenna Azubuike, and whatever you would call Anthony Randolph.

The questions are, first, is this team good enough to make the playoffs, and two, is there room in the playoffs for them? Let's work backwards.

If we're looking at potential playoff teams, the traditional approach is to take last year's crew, throw out anyone that isn't going to make the cut, then add the new entrants based on likelihood. Well, I think we can go ahead and toss the Cavs out of the "definite" category and into the "maybe" pack down there with the Knicks. Celtics are a lock, Magic are a lock, the Hawks are a near-lock with only a chemistry-based nuclear meltdown as the variable in question. The Bulls are a lock with their additions in place. It's hard to say that the Bucks will take a step back, we'll put them in "near-lock" with the Hawks. The Bobcats haven't lost anyone beside Felton outside of Tyson Chandler, who rarely played for them anyway due to injury. Felton's loss is significant, but counting out Larry Brown before the season gets started is something that's gone on a lot the last few years and worked out badly each time. And you know, I think Miami just might be a lock too, you know, if things go well and all.

So that leaves only one open playoff spot with a bunch of middle teams vying for the chance to be swept off the planet. Still, making the playoffs is a big deal. And there's an opportunity in play.

The second question is if the Knicks will be good enough. From that standpoint, there are positive, but liquid, signs. The Knicks won 29 games last season, leaving them 11 out of the playoffs. Think about that. A team with Chris Duhon, Al Harrington, and Wilson Chandler as the big contributors won 29 games. You can put almost any lineup on the floor in the NBA regular season and win close to 20 games. That's what made the Nets so remarkable.

Amar'e Stoudemire should make a huge difference. Surrounding a single star player with even semi-competent role players is usually enough for 20-25 wins. Don't believe me? The Clippers made the playoffs with Elton Brand, flanked by Sam Cassell and Cuttino Mobley. Or, just take a look at the Miami Heat over the past two seasons. From there, you're looking at 17-22 wins the rest of the new Knicks are going to have to generate.

This team is much better developed to run Mike D'Antoni's system, with Azubuike and Gallinari spreading the floor from the perimeter, Randolph running the floor and filling gaps, Felton running the pick and roll, and Amar'e finishing with a flourish. Throw in Chandler, who in a backup role is much more appealing, Ronny Turiaf as a capable rebounding center, and Toney Douglas as a combo guard with athleticism. That's a solid D'Antoni built team. The floor for this team is likely still a six game improvement over last season, but its ceiling is probably high enough to make the seventh seed.

There are still questions galore about this team. Can they defend, at all? Can they rebound? Will they stay healthy enough? Can Amar'e really thrive without Steve Nash? Is Felton enough of an upgrade at point to have the system function? What role will Eddy Curry play? Okay, I'm kidding on that last one. No one asks that. But there are doubts as to whether the Knicks will be anything more than the best lottery team next season. But taking a look over the East, it's hard to say they won't be right there for the playoffs if things go according to plan.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: September 7, 2010 12:09 am

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

who did the nets get that makes you think they pass knick in standings

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: September 7, 2010 12:06 am

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

beacuse they lost therew best player chris bosh to miami

Since: Jun 1, 2007
Posted on: September 6, 2010 1:44 am

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

Lost a guy by the name of Bosh. Only reason I can see.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: September 5, 2010 1:29 pm

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

No.  They have 1 good player & a bunch of decent guys, & their 1 good player has had a history of injuries that prevent him from truly carrying a playoff team.  The Knicks will finish 4th (behind the Celtics, Nets and 6ers) in their division as they complete their 10th straight losing season.  

Since: Apr 21, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2010 6:52 pm

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

I know everyone is going to get upset because I am posting on an unrelated topic, but I just really need to tell dititaniumblade something and the post we were chatting on got deleted. Earlier when talking about Iran and USA basketball ame and how Iran is a scummy country who mistreates women you said
You people are idiots, bringing in stupid politcal issue and talking trash about Iran when you do not look at yourself. We still have cancer, HIV, our crime rate are up, THE LEADER IN CHILDHOOD OBESITY!! HOW ABOUT THAT? And in speaking of controlling women, I have no doubt that you guys did not voted for Hillary Clinton for president.

This is such an idiotic statement I have to respond. Are you saying the USA is worse then Iran because we have HIV (which is a global illness not just in the USA), have a high crime rate (which compared to Irans would be basically nothing), and THE LEADER IN CHILDHOOD OBESITY!!!(Would you rather live in a third world country where the government would easily fu*k over every one of their citizens to become a nuclear power, or one which is the leader in child obesity). And your last statement, oh my, how dumb can you be, saying a country who doesnt even let their women show skin in public respects women more then one who didn't elect Hilary Clinton their president. Because John McCain is not President does that mean that we hate white people too, ridiculous. 

Im sorry I know people hate mixing sports and politics but it just gets me so upset when unpatriotic people  like you don't appreciate the opportunity you have by living in America. Many people would literally risk their lives to come here, and your putting us on Iran's level, just sickening. Show some respect for your nation.

Since: Jun 22, 2010
Posted on: September 2, 2010 12:13 pm

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

I give a couple of season more before the Knicks go into the playoffs. For one thing, they are unproven yet and with a coach that doesn’t preach defense… good luck with that. The Eastern Conference is now loaded with teams doing some significant upgrades. The Knicks did some upgrade on there own acquiring Amar'e Stoudemire and some pieces from the GS Warriors that might improve their chances in winning more games.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: September 2, 2010 12:01 pm

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

It frankly would be a huge disappointment should the Knicks not make the playoffs. However, playing D'Antoni's exciting brand of ball and making the playoffs should be enough to satisy the fanbase this season. The more significant point about this team, I believe, is the longer term picture. The Knicks have retained cap flexibility with Curry's and Azubuike's expiring contracts.With its young talent signed to reasonable short term contracts (aside from Amare, ofcourse), the Knicks have some tradeable assets as well, especially if Randolph has a break out season. Hopefully, the team can acquire a Tony Parker or even better, a Chris Paul over the next season or two. Then the games will begin.

Since: Aug 11, 2009
Posted on: September 2, 2010 10:09 am

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

I have not followed the NBA in the past few years and cannot speak with any degree of knowledge on the subject.  But one thing is for sure: a strong franchise in NYC always makes the season a lot more interesting.   The league will get far more publicity from the sports and general media and this will generate much revenue.  Further, the team will draw huge crowds when they travel. Everybody wins when NYC has a  strong team.  Therefore, NBA should be pleased that the team is stronger for next season.

Since: Nov 26, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2010 10:00 am

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

Interesting article, but not including David Lee as a "major contributor" is a glaring weakness!

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2010 8:54 am

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

I have always believed in the importance of the point guard in Basketball, like a QB in football.    When a Big changes teams, like a WR changing teams in football, you can not just move their offensive stats to the new team.    It will be interesting to see how it goes, also if Amare gets hurts I see a really bad Knicks team.  

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