Full Stat Projections for New York Knicks Starting Lineup

Sam CooperCorrespondent IIIDecember 21, 2011

Full Stat Projections for New York Knicks Starting Lineup

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    The New York Knicks suffered a first-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics last season. That team did make the playoffs for the first time in several years, but they were plagued with injuries and their extremely weak bench also factored in their devastating loss. 

    This year, the Knicks are back and they are a different team. Although they lost Chauncey Billups, this team definitely had a productive offseason. Key additions like Tyson Chandler, currently-injured Baron Davis and rookies Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrellson should make the Knicks a better team, both in depth and in their starting lineup. 

    This year will be an extremely important year for the Knicks as they attempt to prove to the basketball world that they can be a force in the east and possibly title contenders. 

    The key question to ask would be: How will each of these players, specifically those in the starting rotation, fare based on the offseason moves and the shortened 66-game season?

    The answer can be found 66 regular season games from now, but for now we can try to predict each player's performance and watch as the season starts on Christmas day.

    Here are full stat projections for every New York Knicks starter. 

Baron Davis

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    Baron Davis has just signed with the Knicks for the veteran's minimum after being dropped via amnesty by the Cavs. As we all know by now, Davis will be out at least a few weeks, if not a couple months. Until then, expect Toney Douglas to start at PG for the Knicks, but Davis will take over as soon as he is healthy. 

    When Davis is healthy, he can post very fine numbers, especially if he is running the point with Melo and Amar'e. However, over the past couple seasons Davis has started his decline. He is now 32 and his productivity is decreasing more every year. 

    Davis played in 58 games last season, averaging 13.1 points and 6.7 assists for the Clippers and Cavaliers. He is a two-time All-Star. 

    Davis was a good signing for the Knicks should he stay healthy—but whether Davis will be able to contribute and turn this club into a force that can compete with the Heat and Bulls in the east is questionable. After all, two teams in the past season in the Clippers and Cavs both just did whatever they could to get rid of him. The Clippers had to give up a first-round pick and the Cavs ate his salary. 

    When Davis is sharp, he is still a force.

    He can be fantastic in transition and has an amazing court sense, which should fit with Mike D’Antoni’s system. But, he has a long history of injuries and questionable conditioning. His focus comes and goes from game to game. He loves to, often times, take ill-advised shots early in the shot-clock and his defense may not make the Knicks better. 

    But, with that being said, he will be a great contributor to the team if he is healthy. Even if he does come back to the team fully healthy, it will take a while for him to start playing like he was and adjust to the game again. If Davis stays healthy in time for a playoff run and is engaged like he was with Golden State a few years ago, he could make the Knicks an even more dangerous team come playoff time.

    But that is a big "if."

    2010-2011 Stats:

    G         MPG        PPG        RPG        APG       STL        BLK        FG%        3P%

    58         28.4        13.1         2.7           6.7          1.3        0.5        .417        .339

    2011-2012 Projections:

    G         MPG        PPG        RPG        APG       STL        BLK        FG%        3P%

    41        27.4         12.4         2.8           6.1          1.3         0.5         .406        .311

Toney Douglas

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    Allow me to make it clear that the only reason I've included Douglas is because of the 20 or so games that he will start at the beginning of the season.

    In nine starts last season, he averaged 13.9 points, 5.7 dimes and 2.4 3s a game. He has the opportunity to match that if he steps up and grabs a hold of the job while Davis is still injured. He might even do better than that given a starting job this season. 

    Unfortunately for Douglas, his starting job is not permanent. As Davis returns to health and takes a starting role, Douglas will go back to the bench. In fact, with Bibby, Shumpert, Fields, Davis and others such as Bill Walker all sharing the backcourt, Douglas may not see so much time at either guard position when Davis returns. He may see even less time than he had last year off the bench. 

    Douglas proved that he was a capable player last year, and in his short moment of fame I believe he will be fairly successful at running the point. 

    2010-2011 Stats:

    G         MPG        PPG        RPG        APG       STL        BLK        FG%        3P%

    81         24.3        10.6         3.0           3.0          1.1        0.0        .416        .373

    2011-2012 Projections:

    G         MPG        PPG        RPG        APG       STL        BLK        FG%        3P%

    64        26.8          11.8        3.3            3.7         1.2         0.0         .435         .381

Landry Fields

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    Fields was a second-round pick in the 2010 NBA draft, so nobody really expected him to be amazing. However, he was one of the most pleasant surprises in the whole NBA last year. He secured a starting job for 81 of his 82 games played in which he put up 9.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game. He was a great rebounder and also put up a steal a game and had a great field goal percentage for a shooting guard.

    However, once Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony came to New York in February, Fields had a more limited role in the Knicks offensive system. He saw many less touches and less minutes. He went from almost 33 minutes a game before the All-Star game to 28 minutes per game after it. He also didn't shoot the ball as well, and the arrival of Anthony severely decreased his rebounding total. 

    By the time the Knicks were entering the playoffs, Fields looked like a zero-factor. He played just 17 minutes a game and shot 3-15 in the Knicks four-game series against the Celtics. He didn't rebound or score. He had 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds. 

    With the arrival of a defensive center in Tyson Chandler, I expect his rebounding total to decrease even more. Iman Shumpert may also take away a few minutes at shooting guard. Those things combined with the fact that he won't see many touches will make for a down year for Fields. Although he seems to be in the Knicks long-term plans, he is just not in the type of environment where he can thrive. He is overshadowed by too many big names and he may be looking at a decrease in production.

    2010-2011 Stats:

    G         MPG        PPG        RPG        APG       STL        BLK        FG%        3P%

    82        31.0         9.7            6.4           1.9         1.0        0.2        .497        .393

    2011-2012 Projections:

    G         MPG        PPG        RPG        APG       STL        BLK        FG%        3P%

    65        29.8         9.2            4.5           1.8         0.9          0.2         .496        .401

Carmelo Anthony

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    After the hectic weeks that were "Melo Drama", Carmelo Anthony finally ended up coming to the Knicks in February. 

    Not much changed in Melo's production following the trade from Denver. He put up the same amount of points, assists and steals, and his rebounds only slightly decreased. The interesting thing was the amount of threes he started taking. He may be poised to slightly add to his scoring this year, as he cranked off 4.6 3-point attempts per game after the trade—that's nearly two more than he averaged in any season of his career previously. 

    But besides that, I wouldn't expect him to change much. His rebounding total may take a hit with the arrival of Tyson Chandler (it had already taken a hit because of Stoudemire), but he will still be one of the most dangerous scoring options in the league, not to mention the Knicks No. 1 scoring option. Besides more threes and less rebounds, I'd expect the same Carmelo Anthony that we've always seen. We'll see if that Carmelo Anthony can help spark a playoff run in New York.

    2010-2011 Stats:

    G         MPG        PPG        RPG        APG       STL        BLK        FG%        3P%

    77        35.7         25.6         7.3            2.9        0.9         0.6         .455       .378

    2011-2012 Projections:

    G         MPG        PPG        RPG        APG       STL        BLK        FG%        3P%

    63        36.2         27.2         6.5           2.9          1.1        0.5          .464         .428

Amare Stoudemire

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    Amare Stoudemire was the first star to come to New York, after he came via free-agency last summer. Although dreams of some stars like LeBron James did not happen, the Knicks did lure in Carmelo Anthony and now Tyson Chandler. 

    In his first season with the Knicks, Amare put up 25.3 points per game and a surprising 1.9 blocks per game. The only significant decrease in production was field goal percentage which was at its worst since his sophomore season in 2003-2004. 

    After the Carmelo Anthony trade, Stoudemire saw his production decrease. His points and rebounds both went down, and his blocks also started looking more normal at 1.3 a game post All-Star break.

    There are a few things to watch this year. Althogh he seems to work well with Carmelo Anthony, the arrival of Tyson Chandler may have a negative effect on Stoudemire's production. The arrival of Anthony limited his rebounds and blocks and with the arrival of Chandler it is possible that we'll see Stoudemire with a career-low in rebounds.

    Another thing to watch would be his back. Stoudemire has a history of a few nagging injuries and back spasms were a problem for him at some points last year. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Knicks cut back on his minutes just a bit, or maybe even give him the day off a couple times. 

    Lastly, Stoudemire may shoot the three more this year. We know he is an effective face-up power forward, and with the arrival or Chandler he will no longer have to play center for long amounts of time. He can be an effective player on the wing and he has supposedly worked on a three point shot over the offseason. We may see him start to hit threes every once in a while.

    2010-2011 Stats:

    G         MPG        PPG        RPG        APG       STL        BLK        FG%        3P%

    78        36.8         25.3         8.2           2.6         0.9        1.9         .502        .435

    2011-2012 Projections:

    G         MPG        PPG        RPG        APG       STL        BLK        FG%        3P%

    61        35.5         23.9          7.1         2.9          1.0         1.5         .539        .386

Tyson Chandler

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    The Knicks have finally found a defensive-minded center in Tyson Chandler. They've needed a good center for a long time, and now they have gotten one, but at an expensive price. They should hope that he is worth it because they had to excercise their amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups in order to sign Chandler.

    Chandler is regarded by many as a great center because of his performance in the playoffs. The fact that the Mavericks won the NBA championship feeds this belief, and players like Dirk Nowitzki credit Chandler as being one of the most important pieces for the team to beat the Heat. But what is overlooked is his regular season performance—it was actually better than his postseason.

    In 74 regular season games, Chandler put up 10.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and shot an amazing 65 percent from the field. He put up those stats in under 28 minutes a game.

    The Knicks are going to give him big minutes and they will need him on the court a huge chunk of the time. Given full-time minutes, I expect Chandler to be a double-double machine. 

    I don't think that Chandler will change very much after coming to New York. I think what is more likely is to see Chandler's arrival influence other players and their performances. Although he may take rebounds and blocks away from guys like Stoudemire, he solidifies the Knicks front-court by being an amazing defensive presence. He can only have a positive impact on the Knicks and help them make a deeper playoff run.

    2010-2011 Stats:

    G         MPG        PPG        RPG        APG       STL        BLK        FG%        3P%

    74        27.8         10.1         9.4           0.4         0.5         1.1         .654       .000

    2011-2012 Projections:

    G         MPG        PPG        RPG        APG       STL        BLK        FG%        3P%

    62        32.2         11.1         10.6         0.5         0.5          1.4        .631         .000