On Wednesday, ESPNNewYork.com caught up with Knicks legend and MSG analyst Walt Frazier at NYC's Pier 78, where his likeness was unveiled on a double-decker sightseeing bus. Gray Line New York was celebrating Frazier's induction into its "Ride of Fame" campaign, which honors exemplary New Yorkers.
Through their conversation, Clyde revealed four main keys to the Knicks season, which are:
1. Health: "I'm very optimistic about the season. I really like the new acquisitions: [Marcus] Camby, [Jason] Kidd, [Raymond] Felton. Amare [Stoudemire] seems to be healthy now, Carmelo [Anthony] seems to be thriving from the Olympics. I saw him. He's in the best shape I've ever seen him in. I like the new coach and his focus on defense. Our two rings in the past [in 1970 and '73] came from defensive intensity. I think the big question mark is: Can they stay healthy? Kidd is an older player, Camby, so if those guys can stay healthy, that's key. Also, teamwork and defense. Those need to be the catalysts."
2. Adjusting: "The onus is on the coach to make them buy into the system and play their particular roles, especially Amare. Will he be better coming off the bench or with the first unit? Will he accept whatever he has to do? But I think they have to look at [LeBron] James and what he did this year to win a championship, how he changed his game. Whatever he had to do, that's what he did. I think the onus is going to be on Melo to do that. He's the guy that, if they're going anywhere, he has to take them."
3. Defense: "Under [Mike] D'Antoni, we were always a poor defensive team, and now we change the coaches and defense becomes our strength. I was impressed with how [Mike Woodson] really reached the players, especially Melo. I thought Melo really responded well to what Woodson wanted. And that's going to be the key, having a veteran coach. He reminds me of Red Holzman. He's laid back, a players' coach, but when he has to be tough, he can crack the whip."
4. Melo: "He has to be more versatile. He can't just go out and get 30 points. He's got to get some rebounds, he's got to defend. I told him that he should be a 20, 10, 5 guy. He has the ability to do it. I mean, come on. He's a much better shooter than James. He can score, he can rebound when he wants to -- he's proven that -- he can play defense. He just has to do it consistently."