2008-2009 New York Knicks Season Preview
2008 New York Knicks preview from MadduxSports.com. If you are a sports bettor you will love Maddux's NBA lines page where you can compare daily odds
Over the past few seasons, the New York Knicks (23- 59) have redefined the standard for bad play in the NBA. They have been worse than hapless; they have been laughable. Isiah Thomas, who was a good basketball player when he was with the Pistons despite making some major mistakes in key playoff games, proved to be totally incompetent as the coach and team president of the Knickerbockers. The club was dead last in just about every major defensive and offensive category last season. They were 10th in offensive rebounds—that was their best stat. When top NBA teams played the Knicks, it was a chance to pad their stats and put another mark in the win column. Off-season acquisition Zach Randolph at power forward was teamed with Eddy Curry in the frontcourt. The result was disastrous. Point guard Stephon Marbury and coach Thomas fought on a team flight early in the season. After that, Thomas had little rapport with his players. Terrible defense upfront, listless play all around and an old-fashioned offense defined the Knicks’ season of discontent.
In the frontcourt, Curry and Randolph never gelled. Center Curry averaged just 4.7 RPG and although Randolph’s offense was good, his “D” was dismal. In his third season, forward David Lee played 81 games and proved to be dependable. Point guard Stephon Marbury had more off-court embarrassing highlights last season than topnotch on-court plays. The team never played as a team last year.
Isiah Thomas is still in the organization but has no power. The new president is the capable Donnie Walsh and the head coach is Mike D’Antoni. The first move was to make Italian player Danilo Gallinari the first pick of the 2008 draft. Fans did not like it, but it’s a good move. This guy can be an offensive force right away. Guard Chris Duhon has been added to push the tempo of the game.
The Knick frontcourt is uncertain. The club wants to shed Randolph but in order to do that, they have to offer someone like Lee, who was their best guy in the post with 10.8 PPG and 8.9 RPG. Curry will stay at center where he struggled last season, grabbing an average of just 4.7 RPG. Rookie forward Gallinari could make a difference immediately.
Point guard Stephon Marbury, who played 24 games last season, is not as good as he thinks he is. Eight-year vet Jamal Crawford is fast and smart. Last season, he played in 80 games, averaging 20.6 PPG and 5.0 APG. Look for him to play the shooting spot. Point will be the domain of Duhon who averaged 4.0 APG in limited action last season. He’ll push the ball up the court quickly with no ego involved and that’s what D’Antoni wants.
The Knicks’ new president and their new head coach are both smart basketball guys who know that a whole lot won’t change this season but a whole lot can change in a few years. Hopefully, this Knick team can play better than last season’s. A winning record is unlikely but a better brand of basketball is. They’ll finish fourth in the Atlantic.