New York Knicks: 5 Bench Players Who Could Break Out in 2013
It's no secret in the NBA that in order to earn respect, a team must have depth.
Whether you refer to them as the guys who ride the pine, the bench players or the second unit, your team has to have "them" in order to contend.
Last season, Steve Novak was the breakout bench player for the New York Knicks.
The impact of Novak off the bench last season was huge and influential in the overall success of the team. Who will be the breakout bench player this upcoming season?
Looking at the 2012-13 roster, there are five potential bench players for the Knicks that could emerge.
Knicks fans should be excited about the acquisition of Ronnie Brewer.
The 27-year-old veteran swingman comes over from Chicago, and he will be an upgrade from the production that Landry Fields gave the team last season.
Brewer will also fill a much-needed void, as Iman Shumpert is expected to miss nearly the first half of the 2012-13 season as he continues to recover from a torn ACL in his left knee.
Brewer has averaged 9.0 points and 1.4 steals a game in his six NBA seasons, and most importantly, he can exist without the ball in his hands and defends the perimeter very well.
Coach Mike Woodson should feel very comfortable knowing that he can call on Brewer to come off the bench at any time.
A name that Knicks fans should get to know is Pablo Prigioni.
You probably recognize him, as he was a big part of the 2012 Argentina Olympic team and has been a great European point guard for years.
The 35-year-old has agreed to join the Knicks in 2012-13, giving them a lot of depth at the point guard position.
If you paid close attention to when Team USA played Argentina, you saw that Prigioni wasn't really explosive, but he's creative, a slick ball-handler and passer, and someone who can drop a handful of points per game.
Something New York fans will love is his feisty attitude, as the Argentine recorded a technical foul or two in the 2012 Olympic Games.
That feisty attitude will be a welcomed trait to a Knicks team that occasionally got complacent in that respect.
Marcus Camby is entering his second go-around with the Knicks, and this time, his impact will be felt mostly off the bench.
As a backup to starting center Tyson Chandler, Camby's 2.4 blocks per game will propel the Knicks defense while allowing Chandler to take a breather here and there.
Camby will give the Knicks about 20-30 minutes per game and a great frontcourt target for the guards to find on offense.
Chandler and Camby in the frontcourt together could also potentially be a solid impersonation of that great Spurs duo of Tim Duncan and David Robinson from 1999 through the early 2000s.
Welcome back, Marcus.
James White gained a lot of notoriety from his dunking skills, but because you need more than dunking to be successful in the NBA, White has spent the last few years overseas maturing.
The Knicks came calling for this 6'7" guard-forward because of his versatility and playmaking ability on both offense and defense.
Despite the fact that he only has 10 games of NBA experience between his time with Houston and San Antonio, his size and athleticism should allow head coach Mike Woodson some flexibility in using him to execute plays offensively and defensively.
White should be a very positive spark off the bench, and the Madison Square Garden faithful will surely enjoy his rim-rockers.
Just like Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas is back in a New York Knicks uniform for the second time, and he could be a big bench player for the team as well.
When Thomas was in New York from 1998-99 to 2004-05, he was in his prime and was a double-digit threat on offense and a solid rebounder as well.
At one point during his prime, Thomas was one of the best shooting forwards off the pick-and-roll.
Now, he will impart his veteran knowledge and that Knicks grit and swagger he used to proudly display to an Amar'e Stoudemire who badly needs a rebound year (no pun intended, although rebounding from Stoudemire would be a welcomed sight).
At 39 years old, Thomas doesn't come in with many tangible expectations, but if he can give the team 15 minutes, six points and three or four rebounds per game, he could potentially be a breakout bench player.