As everybody knows, the Knicks were the victims of a gentlemen’s sweep at the hand of the Miami Heat in round one. Now, understandably, the talk amongst Knick fans is what the Knicks should do this summer. The Knicks will be facing a ton of issues this summer, from the PG spot to Mike Woodson to Amare and everything in between.
- First thing’s first, the Knicks must re-sign Jeremy Lin. There has been plenty of talk about trying to bring in Steve Nash, but financially it simply isn’t going to happen unless Nash takes a HUGE pay cut. He has no real reason to do so as he has better options for himself. In regards to Lin, although I like him, I think that we will end up overpaying for his services. Keep in mind that Jeremy Lin played less than half of the season, couldn’t mesh well with our resident superstar, struggled going left and was humiliated by Miami. Is he a good point guard and basketball player? Yes. Is he great? I believe he might be down the road but as of right now, he is not. That being said, I think the Knicks have to overpay for him. They have no other adequate point guard on the roster and there is no guarantee that they could reel in a vet like Steve Nash or even Jason Kidd.
- Next, they have to figure out whether or not to bring back Mike Woodson. Many people are high on Woodson because of the of his 18-6 regular season record with the team, but that does not reflect his competency as a head coach. Anyone who watched the Knicks in the playoffs could see that Woodson made NO adjustments as the Knicks’ offensive horrid game plan and unsuccessful defensive strategy were never altered. In my opinion, this proves that you CANNOT win a championship with Mike Woodson as your head coach. The defense is what really got under my skin. Last season, Dallas ran a great zone defense to stop the Heat attack in the finals. The Knicks ran a very minimal amount of zone defense. I do not know how you can have the catalyst for a Dallas defense that slammed the door in this same Miami team’s face and not utilize the defensive game plan that they did a mere year before. Also, the offensive game plan that consisted of “dribbling around aimlessly followed by giving Melo or JR the ball with 7 seconds on the shot clock” needs to be euthanized for all eternity. Another thing people do not look at is Mike Woodson’s less-than-stellar playoff record which is now 12-22 and for what it’s worth, MDA’s was 26-25 before the sweep last year against Boston. Personally, my vote is that the Knicks should try to convince Rick Carlisle to coach in New York as his contract runs out at the end of this season. Or they could, you know call that Phil Jackson guy.
- Amar’e, Amar’e, Amar’e. The Knicks need to figure out what they should do with Stoudemire, if they can even do anything at all. I think they should make it known that they are trying to trade him and see if they get any sort of offer for him. The only problem is that the only offers that they might attract are ones for other overpaid players that have little to contribute such as Rashard Lewis. However, these contracts would still probably have fewer than 3 years on them so it could help the Knicks improve sooner rather than later.
- Everyone Else. The Knicks have to figure out what to do with everyone else on the team as well. Steve Novak has stated that he wants to come back which I am pretty sure will come to fruition. I could, however, see Jared Jeffries walking and obviously Baron Davis’ gruesome injury has him shelved him for the next year. After this post-season, I am sure the Knicks will retain the services of Mike Bibby, who was shockingly competent against the Miami Heat this postseason. I also am certain the Knicks will pick up Josh Harrelson’s option for next season. Now for some comic relief also known as JR Smith. He was upset on twitter after the game last night because some nobodies on twitter said they wanted him out of New York so he threatened that “they might get their wish.” This was obviously just an easy out for him because he was planning on leaving NY after the season anyway, but I am sure those mean twitter followers deeply hurt his feelings. See you when we see you, JR.
- Now, on to the subject of Landry Fields. Saying that Fields was disappointing this season would be the understatement of the year. He was absolutely terrible. He shot an unfathomable 56.2% from the FREE THROW LINE and also added a severely below average 25.6% from 3. In spite of all of this, I do want the Knicks to bring him back and here is why.
- I spoke to Zev Sibony (@Z_Sibony) on twitter and came to the conclusion that the NBA Draft would be the smartest/best way to improve this team as a whole. This is where Landry Fields comes into play. The Knicks already have one 2nd round pick (48th overall) which is good considering how incredibly deep this draft is. I think the Knicks should offer to sign-and-trade Landry Fields to acquire an additional 2nd round pick and also if anyone is stupid enough to do it, offer Toney Douglas for another one on top of that.
- Now, for the players that these draft picks should be used on. One thing the Knicks desperately need is depth at the point guard position. Scott Machado out of Iona could be a perfect fit to back up Lin. Machado led all Division I players this past season with 9.9 assists per game, beating out players such as UNC’s Kendall Marshall. Machado also had a staggering 11.2 assists per 40 minutes, second only to Kendall Marshall. Another positive when it comes to Machado is that he had a top-5 assist-to-turnover ratio which is great seeing as the Knicks were 2nd-worst in the NBA when it came to taking care of the basketball.
- The next thing the Knicks need is another 3 to back up Carmelo Anthony. A player who I think this role is made for is Quincy Acy from Baylor University. Acy was forced to play the 4 in college but can be a lethal 3/4 in the NBA if he increases his range a tiny bit. Acy’s athleticism is through the roof, he is a good rebounder and a decent shot-blocker (65 this past season) as well. The Knicks need help in both these areas, as they were in the bottom half of the league in rebounds, off. rebounds allowed and a pathetic 27th in the league in blocked shots.
- The last thing the Knicks need is a capable defender/shooter to back Shumpert up at the 2 spot next season. An ideal player for this role is William Buford. Although he had a bit of a shooting slump at Ohio State this year, Buford is a very capable shooter and defender. Buford stands between 6-5 and 6-6, but has a wingspan of 6-10 which will help him guard the taller 3’s at the next level, guys like Danny Granger for example. Buford also knows his limitations, which is a good thing. He averaged fewer than 2 turnovers a game compared to Jr Smith who almost constantly tried to isolate his defender with the dribbling skills he thinks he has. If Buford is gone by the time the Knicks have their first pick, Alex Young out of IUPUI is a viable option although he sounds like a spitting image of JR.