- 54 wins and 28 losses; finished first in the Atlantic Division.
- Defeated the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs in six games.
- Lost to the Indiana Pacers, 4-2, in the conference semifinals.
The Knicks entered the 2013 postseason with the potential to win it all. Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, Raymond Felton, Iman Sumpert, J.R. Smith and Amar’e Stoudemire were finally learning how to play together as a team.
New York looked great in their first-round series against Boston. Yet some people were hesitant to get excited because the Celtics were without Rajon Rondo and their aging stars -- Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett -- were obviously worn down from a long season.
In the second round of the playoffs the Knicks proved why some people refused to believe in them. Even though they had a better roster full of way more talent, the Indiana Pacers were able to beat New York fairly easily.
Key Additions: Center/forward Andrea Bargnani, guard Tim Hardaway Jr., forward C.J. Leslie, forward/center Jeremy Tyler, guard Beno Udrij, forward Metta World Peace.
Key Subtractions: Center/forward Marcus Camby, forward Chris Copeland, forward Steve Novak, forward Quentin Richardson, guard/forward James White.
Projected Depth Chart and Rotation:
PG: Raymond Felton
SG: Iman Shumpert
SF: Carmelo Anthony
PF: Andrea Bargnani
C: Tyson Chandler
Key Reserves: Metta World Peace, J.R. Smith, Amar’e Stoudemire, Pablo Prigioni, Jeremy Tyler, Kenyon Martin, C.J. Leslie, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Beno Udrih.
The New York Knicks haven’t made a lot of changes to their roster in the offseason, but they’re hoping the ones they did make will essentially push them over the playoff hump and into the NBA Finals.
The Addition of Metta World Peace (aka Ron Artest) should make a big difference in 2013 and instantly upgrade the team’s defense. He’ll bring a lot of toughness, plenty of playoff experience and some much-needed leadership.
World Peace should also help the team develop some swagger on the hardwood. As one of the NBA’s most intimidating players, opposing teams may think twice before getting physical with the Knicks.
You wouldn’t be wrong to think the Knicks are one of the most talented teams in the NBA. Their starters are great and their bench is deep. Unfortunately, all of that talent doesn’t bode well for fantasy owners.
Carmelo Anthony is definitely worth a first-round draft pick in all league-types. He’s not a top five player, but he has no business sliding into the second round. He’s one of the NBA’s most elite overall players and the Knicks would go nowhere without him.
Apart from Anthony, there aren’t any clear must-own Knicks because of how well they will spread the ball around.
An argument can be made for owning -- and possibly even starting -- J.R. Smith, but keep in mind his numbers will be limited as the team’s Sixth Man.
If you’re in a deep league and you draft Anthony, it may be worth using a late-round pick on Amar’e Stoudemire. If Anthony misses a few games for whatever reason, Stoudemire will likely take his place as the team’s focal point.
It’s usually unfair for an NBA team to head into a season with “championship or bust” expectations. But these Knicks are super talented and -- for the most part -- have played with each other for a couple years. That’s why such high expectations are not unfair at all.
For several seasons Carmelo Anthony has been mentioned as a top five player in the league. If he wants to continue being mentioned as an elite player, he must do what all elite players do. He must win in the playoffs, lead his team to the Finals and win the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Unless Anthony gets injured, there’s really no excuse for the Knicks not to make a deep playoff run. They have a talented cast of starters and a deep bench. In fact, the Knicks have several players on their bench that could start for a handful of other NBA franchises.
The pressure will be on Anthony and the rest of the Knicks to win it all in 2014.