New York Knicks Continue Their Win-Now Philosophy
The New York Knicks may have broken their string of 12 straight years without winning a playoff series, while winning 54 games and the Atlantic Division crown, but to a man, they know that they fell short of their ultimate goal in 2012-2013, which was to vie for the NBA Championship. The Knicks were a tale of three teams at times last season. They started out as the best team in the NBA for the first month and a half of the season, then looked like one of the worst teams in the league for two months, and then came on strong, winning 19 out of 21 (including 13 straight at one point) just as the playoffs began. It appeared that the Knicks were peaking at the right time.
Then the injuries and cold shooting that had plagued the Knicks during the middle months of the season immediately returned, and the Knicks were bounced from the playoffs before they ever had a shot at facing the Miami Heat for the right to advance to the NBA Finals.
It is an open secret around New York and the NBA landscape that the Knicks want to win. Now. Their entire roster in 2012 was constructed with older veterans not only because of their playoff mettle, but with designs to defeat the Heat, which the Knicks did three out of the four times the teams squared off in 2012-2013. Following a quick start, G Jason Kidd faded horribly down the stretch in what turned out to be his final season in the NBA. F Amare Stoudemire came up with two more knee injuries during the season and was rendered as an after-thought on the court for the most part. Just as he was rounding back into a semblance of his former self, he was injured again, and was useless in the Knicks’ Eastern Conference Semifinals loss to the Indiana Pacers.
With Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton, JR Smith, Pablo Prigioni, Steve Novak, and Chris Copeland, the Knicks have a one-year window to attain their goal of winning a championship before the team brass is forced to make critical decisions on the future of the team. The Knicks own their original 1st Round pick for only the second time in a decade (Shumpert, 2011) in the 24th slot of the 2013 NBA Draft. The Knicks will be eyeing a player who can contribute immediately, and they must hope that Smith and Copeland will forgo potentially larger paydays elsewhere to take one more crack at the title. The salary cap and luxury tax are virtually of no real consequence to the Knicks, who have the deepest pockets in the NBA. It has always been a matter of timing with the health of players and meshing the right unit together on the court. Whether the Knicks are able to lure Chris Paul away from the Clippers, or trade for Tyreke Evans, they will need another scorer to complement Anthony when Smith is off, or the Knicks will continue their series of “What If?” offseasons.
Otherwise, there will be another mass exodus of players out of New York, and the merry-go-round of overpaid players coming to New York and failing to deliver will continue.