Anyway, two big stars can be quite enough, thank you. Oklahoma City is doing just fine with two, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Utah Jazz did just fine for about a dozen years with two. Hell, Chicago has just one, Derrick Rose, and a terrific ensemble cast tearing up the league right now. The number of stars on hand ain't the Knicks' issue.
But I know two things that are:
The Knicks are lousy defensively and coach Mike D'Antoni is allergic to his own bench. These things aren't debatable. They're facts already entered into evidence.
In fact, bad defense and a lack of depth are both things associated with D'Antoni teams, as in all of them. Talk to guys who played for the Suns during the terrific playoff runs Phoenix made to reach the Western Conference finals, and they'll tell you under oath that the Suns paid less attention to defense than any other good team in the league. The Suns and now the Knicks are going to try to outscore you, which is even more difficult in the Eastern Conference than it is in the West, and neither Stoudemire nor Anthony is overly concerned with defense. That's going to hurt, beginning in the short term, as in the stretch run and the playoffs this spring. Different as the top three teams in the Eastern Conference are, the one thing the Celtics, Heat and Bulls all have in common is they can shut you down. The Knicks ... not so much. Some of the pressure, then, is going to be on D'Antoni, who is going to have to find some reserves he can trust among the players already on hand. Take the aforementioned Mason, for instance. Yes, he fell off dramatically last year but was still good enough to play in 161 of 164 games the past two seasons for Gregg Popovich. It's unlikely he completely forgot how to play or shoot. Yet, under D'Antoni, Mason doesn't play at all. Ever. Eighty-two games two seasons ago, 10 games this season. D'Antoni is going to have to trust his bench and develop a player or two who are still unproven, perhaps Corey Brewer, perhaps Andy Rautins. In the meantime, he's going to have to rely on Shawne Williams (who, to be fair, has produced with a great shooting season), Shelden Williams, Toney Douglas and the like off the bench. Personally, I'll take the Knicks' reserves over what Miami has right now.