First off, I think the team will be fine. We now have a legitimately unstoppable player for teams to reckon w. I know it's early but I really believe in Felton too. I think our squad will be a problem for a lot of teams as the season goes on. Will they struggle early? Maybe. But I've already made a promise to myself not press the panic button for the first 15 games.
If the team ends up w close losses during that first fifth of games against good teams and beats the teams it seems as if we're supposed to beat, i'll be more inclined to hold out hope that they'll pull it together for the long haul.
7 positive signs to look for:
1. Mike D'antoni uses and sticks to his ten man rotation thru the first 15 games w positive effect - ie a .500 or better record during that span.
2. Gallo averages 17 or more points and displays more variety in his game. Also, if he stays aggressive by driving to the hole and drawing fouls inspite of a few early misses from deep, this will be a good sign for his development and for the team.
3. They hold opponents under a hundred points in half or more of the first 15 contests.
4. Felton shows a consistemt command over the offense that has not been seen since the SSOL was brought to NY.
5. The team shows they can comeback and win in the forth quarter in a few of their first 15 games.
6. If the team knocks off a contender or two, like a Boston or San Antonio during that early 15 game portion.
7. (this one's a bit weird) If Coach spends much more time on the bench than he does standing by the scorers table. That's usually a good barometer for how comfortable he is w the way the team is playing generally.
Again, it's still way too early to be worried. When you think about it, this is actually a good time for our Knicks to struggle. Let them screw up as much as they need to now and early on in the season. After the first 5th of the season tho, the team needs to have shown signs of growth and should definitely be giving teams a run for their money night in and night out. IMO we should look dangerous. To me this would be a .500 or better team that doesn't beat itself and isn't intimidated by anyone. Give me that and I'll still be hopeful about the season and the team's overall development. Thoughts?