The New York Knicks recorded their ninth consecutive losing season in 2009-10. As a result, general manager Donnie Walsh cleaned house and the Knicks started the offseason with just four players under contract and tons of cap room, which they used to sign Amar'e Stoudemire.
Coach Mike D’Antoni has the dubious distinction of racking up 103 losses in two years in New York. Apparently, his strategy of trying to score more than his opponents while not playing defense hasn’t worked. The addition of Stoudemire does not exactly address the defensive issue either, since he is not known for rebounding or for his emphasis on defense. It will be interesting to see if D’Antoni focuses more attention on defense this year, since it could be his last if he can’t produce a winning record.
The bad news for New York is that the Knicks will be without center Eddy Curry for the start of the season. Curry will be out four to six weeks with a right hamstring strain, but at least forward Kelenna Azubuike is about to return from his knee surgery last November and he is expected to be ready for the start of the season.
The New York Knicks schedule starts with two road games. New York travels to Toronto on Oct. 27, then they will get an early division test at Boston on Oct. 29 before returning for their home opener against Portland. LeBron James comes to MSG on Dec. 17 and Jan. 27, while David Lee returns with the Golden State Warriors only nine days into the season on Nov. 19.
New York Knicks Preview: Offseason Moves
The Knicks signed Stoudemire to a five-year, $100 million deal and Lee to a six-year, $80 million deal. They then traded Lee to the Warriors for Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and Azubuike. Walsh also grabbed Roger Mason and signed Timofey Mozgov to three-year, $9.7 million deal.
The Knicks acquired Jerome Jordan (44th pick) from the Milwaukee Bucks for cash considerations. Point guard Sergio Rodriguez signed a three-year deal with Real Madrid. It took awhile, but Patrick Ewing Jr. signed with the Knicks after playing four games on the Knicks Summer League team.
New York Knicks Predictions: Outlook
Thanks to a deep group of talented young players the horizon is bright. Knicks games will feature a lot of points scored to be sure, but the honeymoon is over for D’Antoni if he doesn’t start producing a winning product. The new-look Knicks feature 11 new players, so there will be the inevitable chemistry issue. On paper, the Knicks appear to have the best team they've had in 10 years, so making the playoffs isn’t out of the question, especially if the Knicks end up with Carmelo Anthony sometime this winter.
New York Knicks Futures Odds
The Knicks’ odds to win the Atlantic Division are +2,500 while the NBA odds to win the league championship are an optimistic +4,000. The oddsmakers set the Knicks "over/under" at 35.5 total wins; a seven-game (24 percent) increase in total wins over last season. The Knicks won 29 games in 2009-10 and finished third in the Atlantic Division.
New York Knicks NBA Picks
There could be fireworks at Madison Square Garden this year, as the Knicks perfect their version of the run-n-gun (once again). However, the Knicks will have to play better against Atlantic Division foes and on the road if they hope to improve on last season’s record. The addition of Stoudemire and an increased focus on defense should help a bet on the New York Knicks to go "over" the listed total of 35.5 wins.