Depth is not just about a strong bench, and it is not a gimmick.
It is about being able to withstand injuries. It is about being able to create favorable mismatches and avoid unfavorable ones.
It is about players being able to give maximum defensive effort full-court because they will only play 20 minutes, not worrying about fouling out, and not saving themselves for the offensive end. It is about getting out and running on offense for the same reasons, because you are not pacing yourself for 30 minutes on the floor.
All this depends upon the coach and the team buying into the concept of playing team ball 13-deep. Of not worrying if you play 30 minutes one night and only 5 the next. Of not worrying if you score 30 points one night and 5 the next. This has to start with Melo, who could be the biggest problem or could be the thing that turns this all around. If Melo buys into "we need to start playing like a team" then everyone else will follow. If not, then I doubt Woodson has the balls to bench him (like in the movie "Hoosiers").
Of course, the jury is out whether the coaches and the team will buy into a real team concept. If not the Knicks will play as predicted by the pundits, but if they do, look out, this team could
shock the world.
Before you say, this is all fantasy however, look at last year. The Knicks were not predicted to finish second in the East. They were not predicted to come out 18-5. But they did.
Unfortunately, that team was old, and injuries derailed the momentum. However, this team is significantly younger and so this is a new year to try this again.