2007 New York Knicks Season Preview
Last time the New York Knickerbockers made it to the playoffs was in 2004. Can they reverse their regular season and post-season woes? Isiah Thomas replaced Larry Brown as coach after Brown’s disastrous 23-win 2005- 06 season. Although the Knicks weren’t stellar last year, they improved under Thomas by 10-games over their prior season.
The frontcourt of forward Zach Randolph (.467 FG%, .292 3P%, .819 FT%, 10.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 23.6 PPG) and forward/center Eddy Curry (.576 FG%, 1.000 3P%, .615 FT%, 7.0 RPG, 0.8 APG, 19.5 PPG), both six-year veterans, provides an imposing duo. Curry is about to enter the prime of his career and become a dominant center, while Randolph, who came from Portland and is in his first year with the Knicks, could be the difference maker on this team. The other guy in front is Quentin Richardson (.418 FG%, .376 3P%, .692 FT%, 7.2 RPG, 2.2 APG, 13.0 PPG)—a seven-year swingman.
In the backcourt, the Kicks feature two shooting guards—Jamal Crawford ( ..400 FG%, .320 3P%, .838 FT%, 3.2 RPG, 4.4 APG, 17.6 PPG) and Stephen Marbury ( .415 FG%, .357 3P%, .769 FT%, 2.9 RPG, 5.4 APG, 16.4 PPG). Who will be the point guard? Look for the Marbury to take the lead in that area.
The problem is not talent with this team but the range and variety of talent. Curry and Randolph are clones and Marbury and Crawford are similar to one another. Coach Thomas looks to go inside and bang and pound, which is not a bad strategy for this club. But this team needs defense and there appears to be no help there.
Over the years, New York has had undisciplined talent and stellar play by individuals. But a team they have not been. The Knicks have promise and much will depend in coach Thomas and this club’s point producing starting five. Can the team from New York, New York finally get their act together? It will be tougher than it’s been in the past half-decade with a much-improved Celtic team, a returning Nets’ club and a for-real Raptors’ group.