On the strength of our starting 5 of...
C- Tyson Chandler
PF- Amare Stoudemire (assuming he's with us)
SF- Carmelo Anthony
SG- Iman Shumpert
PG- Jeremy Lin
I think we'll be pretty good. That is, assuming everyone is healthy and in peak physical condition. We need our guys to play up to their full potential. We need to play pick n roll basketball with Lin and our bigs coupled with Melo's elbow/iso game and looks in the post. We need to make sure to make the defense pay with timely, consistent shooting from our shooters in the starting lineup and guys off the bench.
Let's say we come back with..
Drafted player A
Drafted player B
Drafted player C
Assuming JR Smith walks and Fields works on his outside shooting and becomes a stopper on the defensive end, we should be fine at the G-F position off the bench IMO. Fields is too smart and cares too much about playing well. He should be able to be a sixth or seventh man type. Fields should definitely not start.
That said , Shumpert is on the cusp of becoming a legit NBA starter, as long as he stays healthy, for the next 5-7 seasons. He's shown improvement on his outside shooting after working with Allan Houston. We know he can defend well. He's pesky as hell on the defensive end. He needs to finish better in traffic at the rim and he'll have the foundation needed to play at the 2 as a starter consistently.
Between Jorts, Fields, Odom (assuming we get him) and the best 3 ball launcher in the league in Novak, we should be pretty good off the bench. All of the above guys should be able to make shots and defend (with the exception of Novak who is not a good defender).
I really think Jorts is a legit back up center in the league. We need not look elsewhere in this area. Odom can play center when we go small. I really like what our bench looks like and the way they could mix with guys in the starting lineup. Jeffries is solid defender, individually and team-wise.
I don't feel at all like we should be looking to make too many changes in this offseason. I want us to develop chemistry. Bring in Odom, make a few smart draft picks, let guys get healthy and lets rock with what we have.
This is a good team.
Also, people like to say Melo isn't in great shape but I don't believe this is the case. He doesn't have to be ripped to be in top condition. Look at Iverson, not musular at all but could run all day. Look at tennis players.. None of those guys are muscle types, but they can run you. I can't recall one time this season that I saw Melo looking winded. He played big minutes while carrying the load during the latter part of the season. Melo just has a sort of Barkley body type. Was Barkley ever out of shape during his career? Melo is in his prime. Stop with the out of shape nonsense. He'll be fine.
We need a ..
25 ppg, 7 rbg, 4apg
.. type of season from Melo next year.
We need Lin to stay healthy and put up..
16 ppg, 8 apg, 3 rpg & 2 spg
We need Shumpert to stay healthy as well and put up..
17 ppg, 4 apg & 5 rpg
If Amare can average..
18 ppg, 9rpg & get 2 bpg
.. and stay healthy into the playoffs that will bode extremely well for us. Coach Woodson needs to monitor Amare's minutes throughout the season. He needs to treat him something like Popovich treats Duncan. Amare cannot hold up for a whole season playing 35 mpg anymore IMO.
Tyson just needs to be himself. He's our most consistent player on and off the court, the real backbone of our franchise.
10 ppg, 11 rpg and 3 bpg..
should do it.
Again, this squad is primed for a solid season next year if all of the above can stay healthy, develop chemistry and perform well in their roles next season.
I hope we don't make too many changes and I look forward to seeing them do battle under Woodson's guidance. Peace.