New York Knicks: Carmelo Anthony and 4 Key Players for the Upcoming Season

Brian GeraghtyCorrespondent IIISeptember 27, 2011

New York Knicks: Carmelo Anthony and 4 Key Players for the Upcoming Season

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    Although Carmelo Anthony had two offseason surgeries, he is now feeling no pain because of them and is likely to come back better than ever. Amar'e Stoudemire and the rest of the New York Knicks are also looking to improve and advance further into the playoffs in the upcoming season.

    Being trounced by the Boston Celtics in a painstaking four-game series in the first round of the playoffs last season, the Knicks will certainly have a fire burning in their bellies, which will help them to get better in the upcoming season.

    With the additions of draft pick Iman Shumpert and new defensive-minded assistant coach Mike Woodson, the Knicks look like they are poised to rise further through the ranks and come closer to achieving their goal of winning an NBA championship.

5. Iman Shumpert

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    With good size at 6'6", freakish athleticism and solid defensive skills, Iman Shumpert is a very intriguing draft prospect for the Knicks.

    The question will be whether he will become a point guard, shooting guard or just be a taller, more defensive version of Toney Douglas as a combo guard.

    Whatever he becomes, it is comforting to know that the Knicks at least took a player with some upside, who plays defense for a change.

    If Chauncey Billups mentors him and helps teach him the nuances of the point guard position, he could prove to be the steal of the draft.

4. Landry Fields

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    Outside of Blake Griffin and John Wall, Landry Fields was widely considered by many to be the third-best rookie of the 2010-11 NBA season.

    Posting averages of 9.7 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, one steal and solid shooting percentages from the field, Fields figures to be a major player going forward for the Knicks as they continue their quest for an NBA championship.

3. Chauncey Billups

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    Although Amar'e Stoudemire was the most vocal leader on the New York Knicks last season, there is no way to overstate the impact that Billups can have on the development of the team's chemistry.

    He also is a key cog in the wheel because he played with Carmelo Anthony in Denver, so he already has a good rapport built with the Knicks' high-scoring superstar.

    The Knicks are hopeful that Billups can return healthy this season and have equally as big of an impact on the court as a mentor as he can off of it.

2. Amar'e Stoudemire

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    Amar'e Stoudemire was the first player to take the grand leap of faith to join the New York Knicks without any assurance of reinforcements.

    While he had to wait a little more than half a season before he received any legitimate help, his wish was granted when the Knicks brought in Carmelo Anthony and savvy veteran Chauncey Billups.

    Although Stoudemire's past injury history is always a concern, he keeps himself in peak physical condition and should look to improve upon his impressive averages of 25.3 PPG and 8.2 RPG.

1. Carmelo Anthony

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    After posting a tantalizing stat line of 42 points and 17 rebounds against the Boston Celtics in the first round of last year's playoffs, it is clear that Carmelo Anthony is already making himself right at home in the Big Apple.

    Considering the fact that Anthony was able to post averages of 26.3 PPG and 6.7 RPG in his 27 games with the Knicks, it is almost unimaginable to think about what his numbers could be like now that the pain he was having for so long is gone, thanks to his two offseason surgeries.

    If Anthony is able to make the proper changes necessary to become more of a leader—similar to Stoudemire—it is not hard to imagine him having a solid chance at winning the MVP award.

    Alongside Stoudemire, Anthony is likely to become more comfortable in his second season as a Knick and will hopefully improve in all aspects of his game.

    Now that the Knicks have Mike Woodson on board, the team will hopefully improve defensively as well as offensively.

    This will help them become more well-rounded and give them a better chance at winning the elusive NBA championship.