Thursday, October 06, 2005

Offseason Overview: New York Knicks

Say this for the Isiah Thomas era in New York – things are never dull. I’m still not sure whether he’s trying to assemble a winning team or just stay on the back page, or if he thinks he’s playing a video game. Quentin Richardson, Jerome James, rookies Channing Frye and Nate Robinson, and now Eddy Curry join the ever-changing cast of characters. The big move, of course, was bringing Larry Brown on board as head coach, which leads many to believe that even more roster changes are imminent. This roster certainly isn’t your classic Brown squad, and if things don’t work out well at the beginning of the season, you know Isiah won’t hesitate to shake things up.

The Stud: Stephon Marbury, PG
It was yet another incredibly solid year for “the best point guard in the NBA.” He obviously doesn’t live up to his own billing, but Marbury – thanks to his durability – finished in the top 10 on the player rater. Steph has missed just two games over the past four seasons and it would be foolish to look past this. You really want to make sure you get around 160 games from your top two picks, and if Marbury is one of those, you can feel pretty safe in being half way there. The talk of him moving to the 2 is worrisome, because he needs those 8 apg to maintain his value since he gives just solid contributions in 3s and steals. The possible position switch and Brown coming on board will probably worry some folks and let Marbury slip in your draft. But look at his numbers – they are always there. He could provide excellent value toward the end of the second round.

The Support: Quentin Richardson, GF
There are lots of players who could be deemed the support, but we’ll go with Q since he was just brought on board. That said, a few ill-advised 3s could get him on Larry Brown’s bad side pretty quickly. He was a perfect match for Phoenix’s run-and-gun system last year, knocking down close to 3 3pg, which helped him finish as a top 50 player. His FG% is brutal and will seriously hurt you, but he’s also one of the best rebounding guards around. How he adjusts to a new system will be a key story to focus on early in the season. If you are a smart fantasy player, Q can be a real asset for your team if you surround him with the right players. Casual players won’t fare so well with him.

The Supporting Support: Jamal Crawford, SG
Crawford’s a lot like Richardson in that on the right team, he can be quite valuable. Again, there’s the caveat of how he’ll adjust to Brown. If he’s not hitting 2.5 3pg, he’s not much more than roster filler since he’ll be lucky to shoot 40% and he’s never averaged more than 1.4 spg in his career. All of those 3s were enough to rank him 56th on the player rater last year despite missing 12 games. Like most players on the Knicks, the preseason means a lot as we’ll hopefully get an idea of how LB will portion his minutes and run the team.

The Sleeper: Trevor Ariza, SF
Nate Robinson might be the more obvious choice, but we’ll go with the second year guy from UCLA. It seems like one of the few players Isiah and LB might be able to agree on is Ariza, the rangy small forward who (maybe) turned some fantasy heads by averaging nearly a steal per game last year in just 17 mpg. He won’t chuck ill-advised 3s, which alone could get him on Brown’s good side. The Knicks are most thin at SF, so Ariza could see considerable action should Richardson or Crawford get hurt. Perhaps under Brown’s tutelage he could develop as a Tayshaun Prince-type player – probably won’t set the world on fire, but given the opportunity could be a solid contributor.

The Slacker: Eddy Curry, C
And Jerome James gets spared. If you can get past the fact that Curry has a heart condition that was worrisome enough to the Bulls that they basically gave away a 7-footer with the potential to be a dominant offensive center, just look at his career numbers so far. His career highs (not all in one season) are 16.1 ppg, 6.2 rbg and 1.1 bpg. If you saw those numbers, you would probably think small forward. Curry can’t (or more accurately won’t) rebound or block shots and he has stamina issues, having never averaged 30 mpg in a season. He’s got a high-priced (but chump, granted) back up ready to spell him. Counting on Curry to be your #1 center has disaster written all over it. I’d even be wary of counting on him as #2.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude, need some help.. Im in dire need of a three point specialist.. is it to my advantage if i trade my ben wallace and jwill for hinrich and marshall? or I should just pick up some FA like raja bell or jr smith to boost me up. Tnx in advance, sorry it may seem odd me posting questions here, but I know when it comes to these things you guys are gurus.

PG B. Davis (GS - PG)
SG B. Simmons (Mil - GF)
G A. Miller (Den - PG)
SF T. Prince (Det - SF)
PF S. Swift (Hou - FC)
F B. Wallace (Det - FC)
C A. Stoudemire (Pho - FC)
C S. O'Neal (Mia - C)
Util B. Gordon (Chi - G)
Util W. Szczerbiak (Min - SF)

BN L. Deng (Chi - GF)
BN B. Wells
BN J. Williams

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw that other guy im trading with has Qrich.. what your thoughts about it

6:31 AM  
Blogger bv said...

Even more than your lack of three's, i'd be extremely concerned about your FT%. Baron, B. Wallace, AND Shaq? Yikes. Plus Baron and Shaq - your two "top" guys - are huge injury risks. I'd rather move Shaq than Wallace. And you could likely get better value for him as well.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Sumo said...

Good Luck With Amare's knee as well.

10:38 PM  

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