5 New York Knicks Who Could Be Losing Playing Time in 2012-13
For some, this will be due to age, while for others, it will be due to ailments.
For all of them, it will be due mainly to the tremendous depth which the Knicks' roster boasts this season. Ultimately, there are only 48 minutes in a regulation basketball game and just five guys allowed on court at a time.
The backcourt is especially deep this year with two bona fide point guards and three quality shooting guards. There are an array of forwards battling for a roster spot, and then there are the Petronas Towers at center.
So, who is due to see less playing time? Read on, Macduff.
After 18 seasons in the NBA, he could use some extra rest.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Jason Kidd has been in the NBA for 18 seasons. He has played 1,315 games and started 1,302 of them. In 2010-11, he averaged 33.2 minutes per game, the fewest since his rookie year. Dallas won the championship that year. In 2011-12, Kidd averaged 28.7 minutes.
You can expect that number to continue to decline. For the first time in his career, Jason Kidd will find himself coming off the bench as a backup and riding the bench more than he ever has before.
There is also 35-year-old Argentine rookie Pablo Prigioni who will be leeching a handful of minutes at the point.
As I predicted last week, Kidd should expect to play around 18-20 minutes per night. But he should see a considerable amount of playing time in the fourth quarter when the game is on the line.
'Boy, this sure beats actually playing for the Bobcats.'
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Correspondingly, Felton's minutes will suffer as a result of the Knicks' timeshare at point guard. Felton is only 28, while Kidd has a decade more of NBA wear-and-tear on his body.
But while Felton should see more minutes (and many more starts) than Kidd at the point, he will still be getting less playing time than he's used to. Felton averaged 30.1 minutes in his rookie year with Charlotte. Since then, his lowest average for a season was last year in Portland (31.8). The highest average of his career was during his 54 games in New York in 2010-11 (38.4).
With a future Hall of Famer also on the roster, Felton will be lucky to average around 28 minutes per night.
'Man, Utah is really, really boring. I need a coffee.'
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Ronnie Brewer has been a starter for most of his career. After his rookie campaign in 2006-07, he started every game but one for three seasons with the Utah Jazz. Then, when the Bulls acquired him, he started just one game in 2010-11, averaging 22 minutes a night.
Perhaps the Bulls realized the error of their ways, because Brewer started 43 of 66 games last year, averaging 24.8 minutes per game.
Even though I see Brewer as the starting shooting guard for most of this year, he will likely begin the season as the backup, owing to his recovery from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. While he should be ready for the season opener on November 1 in Brooklyn, he may only be healthy enough to compete in a week or two of preseason action leading up to it.
J.R. Smith will likely begin the season as the starter at the 2-guard. Then there is the Iman Shumpert factor. The second-year player is expected to complete rehab of his own knee injury and be ready to play sometime between December and February.
With Shumpert back in the mix, Brewer's playing time will decrease even further, unless coach Mike Woodson can figure out a creative way to distribute minutes around his crowded backcourt.
Amar'e dressed as a head coach last Halloween.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Amar'e Stoudemire is only 29 years old, but at times last year, he looked more like he was 49. After an entire career spent sprinting the length of the floor in Mike D'Antoni's "seven seconds or less" offense, Stoudemire looked like a talented player in a decaying body at points last season.
Last year, in games the Knicks won, Amar'e averaged 30.8 minutes. In games the Knicks lost, he averaged 34.6 minutes (via NBA.com). Overall, Stoudemire averaged 32.8 minutes last season, down from 36.8 in 2010-11.
This is likely to drop even more to around 28 minutes a night. Even with Hakeem Olajuwon tutoring the entire starting frontcourt on how to play basketball properly, Stoudemire is not the offensive workhorse that he used to be.
The Knicks have $65 million invested in STAT over the next three seasons, so it's in their interest to keep him fresh. Since his contract is immovable, they must ensure he at least remains mobile.
Mike Woodson has a drastically different style from the previous coach. It's slowed down, allows for more interior play on offense and stresses defense. With the emergence of Carmelo Anthony as an effective power forward and the addition of Marcus Camby, the Knicks have two options they can play at the 4 in spurts and give Amar'e more rest.
Big money does not guarantee big playing time.
"You know, 'The English Patient' was filmed in Tunisia. I love that movie!"
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Last season, Tyson Chandler won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Mainly, he played that many minutes because the Knicks had no one else to rely on. Unless the defensively-challenged Stoudemire was at the 5, only the offensively-challenged Jared Jeffries could play center, except when they threw 6'10" rookie Josh Harrellson into the mix.
This year, the Knicks have a sage warrior at backup center in Marcus Camby. After an injury-plagued first half to his career, Camby has been more reliable of late. Since 2006-07, Camby has played 70, 79, 62, 74, 59 and 59 games (out of 66 last season).
His minutes have diminished over the past two seasons (26.1 and 22.9), and that trend should only continue. But with Camby bringing his excellent rebounding and tremendous defense back to New York, Chandler should get a few more breathers on the bench and his minutes should decrease to around 28 per night.
That was around the same number that he averaged with Dallas in 2010-11 when the Mavs won the championship (27.8). That will help Chandler stave off injury, as he battled numerous ailments over the course of last season but missed only four games. It could also help the Knicks win a playoff series for the first time since 2000.
Follow me. I booed Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas (no relation) last season. Poor kid.