As I look to this years NBA season, I realize that not only is the future of the New York Knicks important, but so is their present. Missing the playoffs this year not only hands a lottery pick to the Utah Jazz, but keeps the Knicks so far off the radar that FA's may not want to play there. The perception outside the league is that the knicks are a mess and have no talent. This despite having a 6th man candidate, a double double champion, a rising star in Wilson Chandler, a solid point when healthy and a 2008#1 pick that fought threw injury to contribute, and seems on pace to produce in 2009-2010. This perception must change, and the way to do it is to make the playoffs. I feel that this team can squeeze into the 8th spot in the east this year, but there will be lots of competition. Washington, Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Detroit, Indiana, Chicago and Toronto all figure to compete for spots 4-8 in the east behind Boston, Cleveland and Orlando. Even good health, and a solid season from Gallinari won't ensure the Knicks finishing in the top 5 of that group... and thus make the playoffs.
Could Allen Iverson be the piece they need this year to get there?
Some might say that this is crazy, but here is the argument.
1. Larry Hughes has proven that he can't make much of a difference at the 2-guard.
2. AI has something to prove. Like N8 Rob, he's shocked he didn't get financial love this summer, but likely won't let that happen twice!
3. He could be the starting shooting guard, the position where he flourished the most in his days in Philadelphia next to Eric Snow.
4. It is a low risk high reward move. Give him a 1 year midlevel contract, which word is he would accept if he would be a starter. If AI fits in, lets Duhon run the half court offense, and scores when that offense breaks down(Ie.. the last 10 seconds of the shot clock), then the knicks have added a difference maker who can hit big shots and can be a leader when things go well. By January 1st, if things aren't going well, cut AI and let him find another home. I think AI will find a way to fit in at this point, especially if given the chance to start.
No doubt this is a chancy move chemistry wise. Can you imagine the Nate Robinson -Allen Iverson back court in the game when Duhon goes to the bench! Priceless!!! I would expect Mike D'Antoni to show he can manage egos if he is as good a coach as he believes he is! But with a hole at the 2 guard position, and the likely hood of a 1 year no loose deal, why not go with the ANSWER and hope to catch lightening in a bottle!