There is a lot of optimism flying around, as our front office has been flying around at warp speed with many, many signings this off-season. Many of which have been marquee names, or longtime (past time?) NYK heros.
Indeed, a return of Camby and Thomas -- two NYK let go under *disastrous* circumstances, and proceeded to belt out many quality, supremely effective years -- makes me feel like we are right there with MIA, signing aged yet effective admirals to small contracts in a process of continual refinement to a sturdy core.
Lin was a fiasco. But this off-season, otherwise, has been as good as it could get.
Lin will haunt us, though, barring a miracle year from Felton. And I feel justified pessimism in all other facet of our franchise being an actual contender.
Let me preface this with my summary of the NBA today, and the necessary steps (and lucky breaks) needed to truly contend.
As we are built, the realities of cour cap situation (vs other top teams, namely MIA), dictate that our only logical chance of contending is to have one or more all-star like players......not getting paid like all-stars, and having them locked into reasonable, multi-year contracts.
Shumpert is an example of this type of player; and why his injury was so supremely horrible in my eyes.
Lin represented this, as well (forgetting about any worth to MSG, and worth to team chemistry aside).
If you look at BOS, eg, their sweetheart deal with Rondo is the underlying mechanism that has let them do what they have done to date. That, and NBA-leading team chemistry.
MIA has the #1 player in the world (by far), and had their max FA's take pay cuts. This is an advantage which gives them an inherent edge over literally every other team in the league, barring another team getting players to replicate that model. This is not talked about enough.
OKC has had once in a generation good fortune with drafting -- I can't think of a franchise striking consecutive 1st round gold on the magnitude of:
Again, this has given them a window and inherent (albeit more temporary edge) like MIA, where they have players essentially performing at a level that exceeds their contracts in a profound way.
On issues of our players themselves, and with one final Lin follow-up:
I fear for TyChan regressing offensively -- he may well suffer the most from not having Lin, whom he had growing, surprisingly good chemistry with, particularly offensively. In turn, and the screening bonanza I see him taking part in this season, I also feel a legitimate fear of us injury bug returning
I think we have major and potentially crippling question marks at both guard slots. Potential with our guards? Yes. But I see several breaks having to break our way.
On top of this, we have an undeniable issue of chemistry between our studs, which to date simply hasn't been resolved or proven to be an issue of the past. Literally, there has been zero tangible examples born from the high court of reality that can soothe this concern.
Underlying injury issues for Amare still (always?) lurking.
I just need to call it like I see it.
Can't wait for the season to start, can't wait to watch and root for the Knicks.....Can't wait to watch some potential magic......but, I see a lot having to go right just to get us in position at having an outside puncher's chance at taking down MIA.
Admittedly, the above could spell a Doomsday/Worst Case situation; I'd be more than happy to see it's foil.