Startling Statistics from New York Knicks' Season Thus Far

Ronn Blitzer@RonnBlitzContributor IIIMarch 19, 2013

Startling Statistics from New York Knicks' Season Thus Far

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    The New York Knicks have had their ups and downs this season.  

    From starting off as the leading candidate for dethroning the Miami Heat in the East to worrying about holding on to their Atlantic Division lead, it has been a rollercoaster season for the Knickerbockers.

    Here are a number of interesting and puzzling facts and statistics that might shed some light on why the season has been going the way it has.

So Many Starters

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    New York has had 11 players start over the course of the season.  The lineup of Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Ronnie Brewer, Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton was fairly consistent for the first part of the season.  But then Brewer got traded and other players got injured, and the starting lineup seemed to have a revolving door.

    Kurt Thomas, Chris Copeland, James White, Marcus Camby, Iman Shumpert and Kenyon Martin have all started over the course of the past several weeks.  Most surprising about this list?  Second-string players are nowhere to be found.

    While the starting squad has been in flux, the second unit hasn't been altered at all, save for injuries. Rather than bump J.R. Smith, Amar'e Stoudemire, Steve Novak or Pablo Prigioni to the front lines, Coach Mike Woodson has opted to promote his benchwarmers and leave the regular backups in place.

Chris Copeland Can't Catch a Break

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    One of the biggest mysteries of the Knicks' season is why Chris Copeland isn't getting more playing time. While he has started some games due to Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony both being injured, Copeland has 26 DNPs this season.

    Every team has their bottom-of-the-roster guy who rides the bench until there's a blowout and he gets some garbage minutes, but those players are usually not so productive. Copeland, on the other hand, has made the most of his time, scoring over 20 points per 36 minutes.  

    Those are star-quality numbers, and should warrant more playing time.

One for the Ages

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    The Knicks are old.  The 40 on Kurt Thomas' chest isn't just his jersey number, it's also his age, making him the oldest player in the NBA.

    What's amusing is that the age difference between Thomas and Coach Mike Woodson (14 years) is less than the difference between Thomas and teammate Iman Shumpert (18 years).  Thomas and 54-year-old assistant coach Herb Williams were actually teammates for one season when Thomas began his first run with the Knicks in 1999.

    Including Thomas, the Knicks have four of the eight oldest players in the league, along with Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace.  Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin are also among the 25 oldest.

4th Quarter Comebacks

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    For a team as old as the Knicks, they are surprisingly resilient.  At the time of this publication, the Knicks have won nine games where they trailed going into the fourth quarter.  The only team in the NBA with more wins is the Miami Heat.

    For opponents to beat them, they have to stay strong for the entire game.  On March 4th, the Cleveland Cavaliers led by 22 points, but the Knicks stormed back and won.  This sends a message to the entire league that they don't roll over.  

    The Knicks may have bad knees, sore arms and injured feet, but they sure have guts. 

Many Knicks Were Teammates on Other Teams

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    While many of the current Knicks have not been on the team for long, several have played with each other on other teams.

    Kenyon Martin played on the Denver Nuggets alongside Carmelo Anthony, Marcus Camby, J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton.  He also teamed with Jason Kidd on the New Jersey Nets.

    Kidd won a championship with Tyson Chandler when both played for the Dallas Mavericks. Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby played in the NBA Finals together back in 1999, during their first stints with the Knicks.