Over the last several years the New York Knicks have been terrible, there is no disputing that, but what about this year? Is there still a chance, or is this season just going to be another disappointment?
Coming into the 2008-2009 NBA season, the Knicks look like a rejuvenated team. Many things have gone their way, and hopefully the Knicks will continue to have this good luck. But the Knicks cannot just rely on pure luck, there are still many aspects the Knicks must address or all else they will fail.
The Knicks starting lineup looks promising with the anchors being David Lee and Zach Randolph, but the starters cannot win games by themselves. Over the past several years a main flaw in the Knicks lineup has been their bench player’s production.
The Knicks are usually able to hold their own during the first couple quarters of the basketball game, but once their starters get tired and cannot play anymore the bench cannot hold the lead or stay in the game.
So is this year the same as the rest or do the Knicks have a promising bench?
The Knicks need a guy that can instantly come off the bench and energize the crowd and the players, someone that ignites defense and hustles. Last year, that guy was David Lee who is now in the starting lineup. This year several guys may be called upon to fill this role.
The first player that comes to mind would be The Great Nate, Nate Robinson. Although sometimes considered to be a purely show-boating player, he has been called one of the most athletic players on the team by head coach Mike D'Antoni. Robinson can provide energy off the bench as well as great shooting and dribble penetration.
Another player that can contribute to the Knicks success this year off the bench is forward Wilson Chandler. Chandler, who is two years removed from DePaul, has the potential to become a five-star player. He can shoot, penetrate, pass, has become a defensive stopper and has played almost every position on the floor over the last two years as a Knick.
These two energetic players won’t be the only ones contributing off the bench this year, as Stephon Marbury and Malik Rose look to get in the mix.
Stephon Marbury, although sometimes considered a self-centered player, has put aside the fact that he is not starting and has accepted his role off the bench. If he is the Stephon Marbury we all know on the court, he can be one of the key players on this Knicks bench because he has the ability to get to the rim extremely well and also shoots better than most point guards.
Malik Rose, on the other hand, is a decent player on the bench, but is more of an asset as one of the only veterans on the team. He can provide leadership to a team with promising young talent and can also keep Stephon Marbury’s ego at ease.
Overall, the Knicks have an extremely promising future ahead of them, but only if the bench continues to produce and live up to expectations. This is the year the Knicks need to prove what type of team they are and if it truly is a new era of basketball in New York.