Blogtable: Are The Knicks For Real?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Blogtable Week 2: The Knicks | Slow starters | Too soon to panic?

Yeah, we know it’s early, but … the Knicks: Are you convinced? Really, what can go wrong?

Steve Aschburner: Sorry, it’s going to take a little longer  — like till March — for me to buy the Knicks as a legit contender. Never have been a big ‘Melo fan, in terms of his interest in leading a team by whatever sacrifice necessary. The Miami victory was emotionally charged — good for New York for taking care of business — and the home-and-home vs. Philadelphia tells us more about where the 76ers are at (disappointing). Also, it cannot be a good thing that the Knicks’ media corps has a younger average age than the active roster.

Fran Blinebury: You’ve got to be impressed by the oldest team in the league. Carmelo Anthony has got it in high gear, Raymond Felton is doing a solid job running things and the Knicks even have a 38-year-old victory cigar in Rasheed Wallace to clean up at the end. So does it all keep running smoothly whenever Amar’e Stoudemire returns to the lineup?

Jeff Caplan: It’s the Knicks, anything can go wrong. But, I’m going the other way. I like this team’s start. Tyson Chandler is such a positive influence and he’s going to hold everyone accountable on the defensive end, just as he did in Dallas. Here’s the key: When Amar’e Stoudemire returns, coach Mike Woodson needs to make the tough but right call and bring him off the bench. He’ll thrive against second-unit players.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Definitely. I am convinced they can be a good team. But I still don’t see long playoff run. I don’t see reason to be convinced they are legit challengers in the East, if that is what we’re supposed to be convinced of. Just as there is no point reaching for the panic button for teams that had a slow start, there is no point in dousing a team in praise after one week.

John Schuhmann: It’s only three games and their offense is living on jump shots (only 32 percent of their shots — a ridiculously low number —  have come from the paint), so there’s clear reason to be skeptical. But they certainly have the talent to be a top-four team in the East. What can go wrong is that they could get Amar’e Stoudemire back. He hurts them both offensively (in regard to spacing) and defensively (because he can’t stay in front of anybody). The Knicks are a better team without him, and when he comes back, Mike Woodson has a serious challenge on his hands in figuring out what to do with the highest paid player on his team. The obvious solution is to bring Stoudemire off the bench and limit his minutes with Carmelo Anthony, but that move would certainly bring some drama with it.

Sekou Smith: Not completely. But I’m certainly warming up to the idea of the Knicks being not only city champs (sorry Brooklyn), but also a legitimate candidate for a top-four spot in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. That’s not to say they don’t have plenty of issues to deal with (what to do with Amar’e Stoudemire when he gets healthy being at the top of the list). Every wanna-be contender does, though. Mike Woodson‘s stubborn streak should work in this team’s favor. He has a penchant for believing his team is capable of things that the pundits never do, and it served him well during his time running the Hawks and even last season when he took over for Mike D’Antoni in New York. It might not matter if the rest of us are convinced. If Woodson’s players believe they are ready to contend, that’s likely the only group that matters.


  1. Adam says:

    make stat a starter because of how much view are paying him? how about what’s good for the team? Anthony has found his natural position at the 4 just like lebron and stat is most effective at center which he can play off the bench. also he and chandler are both pick and roll players so its best to have only one playing at a time.

  2. Awesomejohn says:

    Of course the knicks are for real, they always were.
    Mello has shown great poise and sacrafice hes done it all for the kicks, Novak is a gem, Tyson is a “God sent angel for this team”..

    Here is the to do list for the kincks..

    #1 They must “ASAP” trade JR Smith plus cash for a legitimate big man to back Tyson for the long run.

    #2 Put Amari on the bench when he returns, to ease him back into the game without injuring him, and working him into an offense that seems to work great “as is”… Turn Amari into a lethal weapon off the bench.. keep him fresh and powerful because thats when he mesmerizes everyone in the league.

    #3 Woodson has to drill his team night and day, to complement his dependable star player Mello instead of everyone trying to outdo him.

  3. Chuck says:

    I’m believing. The only thing that surprises me, is that they meshed so quickly. Their timing and cohesiveness is amazing considering all the injuries and players not available in pre-season. Also, the fact that there are three, count-em three, new point guards who have never played with the most of the team before, quickly meshing. These three point guards have been playing like a three headed juggernaut. A lot of the media try to make out that the Knicks are an old team, well they are, but, their starters (when Amare and Shumpert get back) are not old at all. The bench, because they are so deep, will stay refreshed. There’s a new leader in the East. I don’t know if they’re good enough to knock out the Heat though. Time will tell.

  4. Ilan Sidi says:

    I say the Knicks arn’t through insay they came be the best team in the east. I know the roster is scary they are old but what does that mean? It means they’re better they cane beat the heat we all t know that so why not say they can beat the lakers which they can or the thunder. I have to say I have no idea what to do when Amare returns( this is from q young Knicks fan) I think but don’t know but it think that Amare should be the six man

  5. Karlo Garcia says:

    Surprised that the Knicks is 3-0. But how they play when Stoudimire come back? Anthony is playin real ball cause he’s leading the team but Stoudimire comes back he’ll have little impact cause both very disjointed.

  6. Knicks Pinoy says:

    I think they’re the real deal. Having Shump and Stat will only make them stronger. Stat played very well with Felton and Shump is a very defense oriented guard. On a 1-on-1 defense, he steals the ball 25% of the time.

  7. thesniper321 says:

    So 3 wins and you’re in right? So my money IS ON DALLAS NOW BABY lol

    Nah knick are good but a top contender because they beat miami and got some victories in a row? Give a me a break
    Call me back in january

  8. lebron is king says:

    i think that these knicks will be 2nd in the east. when you think about it since woodson took over they’re 21-6 in the regular season. although my heat stomped them last year i think that it will be heat and new york in a 6 game conference finals (with us winning of course) but this team is deff for real

  9. Rocks says:

    It’s not how you start but how you finish. Easy said than done to play with high intensity with consistency for 82 games. But the good thing is that the Knicks has depth and a good coach. The challenge now is mixing up personalities like Melo, JR, Amer’e together which is not going to be easy. A lot of sacrifice is going to be required from these guys to form a solid force to challenge the East’s throne. Jason Kidd is already doing a spledid job guiding the players on the floor. On the other hand Chandler continue to lead by example. Defense wins championship. You can have an off night with shooting but not with defense. Their mentality is at the right place (defensive minded), all they need to do is keep at it for the rest of the season. Yes, not easy at all. Maaan, it’s has been a while since the Knicks looked this good since the Larry Johnson and Ewing era. They need to forget the hype and resurrect the legendary NYK. Melo, this is your team. If you don’t get matured, stay focused and lead by example, you will miss an opportunity to have one of your best season in your NBA career. The Knicks are legit. Don’t believe the hype!

  10. Fausto says:

    Hey I don’t know if you guys are seeing this, but I play basketball for my school Franklin Monroe in arcanum Ohio. I am originally from New York. But you guys as in the Knicks are my favorite team Andy idol. All of you guys play a important roll in my life not just playing ball but by inspiring me. Also Carmelo you are my favorite superstar in the whole nba. I play November the 30th and I will ball it up just for you guys. 🙂 thanks for taking your time and reading this and I also treat my team like a family. We all ways brake up saying family on 3. Or saying win for ever. I have a awesome coach by the way his name is Troy Myers best guy I ever met

  11. JBuffa says:

    Convinced! The Knicks have three solid point guards to keep the offense moving, something they have never had in the Melo era (besides Big shot Billups and Lin’s short stint). Chandler, Camby, Thomas, and Sheed are a potentially scary defensive front court. Brewer and Shumpert can shut down any wingmen. Novak and Smith are solid bench scorers when theyre hot, which will be a lot easier with the point guard crew we have now. As long as Melo keeps it up and his energy on both ends of the ball runs off on Stat, I see at least a Conference Championhip series. Bottom line, the Knicks onu have two bad players on their roster this season.

  12. Shawny says:

    I think they ARE for real!! They loaded up on big men(TY,Camby,Sheed,Kurt,Amare) . That’s 5 big men that can step in and play at a high level. They also loaded up on PG’s ( Felt,Kidd,Prigoni,Shump). That’s 4 PG’s we have now..So if someone gets hurt,Then someone else comes in unlike last year when we had to have JR Smith and MELo running the 1..
    Camby, Amare and shump will come back just in time to make a run.. Steve Novak is the type of player that champion teams alway’s have that can hit the big shots when left open like a robert horry type. Shump is like a bruce bowen with his defense that got over looked in the laker game that made LIN look like Kobe. Shumps D made everyone look good by shutting down teams top players.And he is not even back yet.. Wait till shump and brewer and Chandler are on the floor together…. NYK 2012…Believe..

  13. jojo says:

    This team is the real deal, and one word says it all. DEFENSE!!!!! Critics are saying the win over the Heat was fluke “the real Heat didn’t show up”. Well they didn’t show because the Knicks DEE totally took them out of there game. The Knicks players have bought into Coach Woodson,s defensive system and will only get better with more playing time and the return of Shumpert. As far as Stat goes, I’m not worried, the Knicks have 3 point guards that know how to keep the ball moving and find the open shot. Melo is on a mission. WATCH OUT! NBA. Coach knows how to manage the Vets minutes so not to burn them out. Their back-ups not starters! Defense will win you a ton of regular season games, just look at the Bulls. The NEW YORK KNICKS will be a top 4 seed come playoff time. OH! Defense also wins championships!

  14. knicksfan says:

    i dont know what people are talking about amare and melo looked awesome after the coaching change they also looked really good in the one preseason game they played together, what a lot of people dont realise is that good point guards allow good shooters to get high percentage shots where as last year everyone had to create for themselves mostly anyway.

  15. bucksball says:

    injuries will be the main problem for this team seeing as there are a lot of older veterans on this team. Also it surprises me that they’ve done well without stoudemire. Hopefully they’ll keep it up when he comes back

  16. vern says:

    True the shots wont be falling all the time but I think this season, there are so many good shooters that odds are in favor that everyone can’t be cold at the same time. As long as the defense stays up to par someone will be hitting that outside shot. Amare I agree is key .Amare and Carmelo not being able to co-exist is just something to say. They can play together. They showed that last season until the injury bug hit the team. The question I have will be can Amare get on the good defensive rotation train. His rotation is null and void. When at his best defensive rotations he’s still bad. Coach or someone has lots of work to do with Stoudemire.I think he’d be good off the bench but we all know with that salary that wont happen nor will any other team pick up a non insured contract like his unless they find another team run by Dolan.

  17. i think Brooklyn Nets are gonna make opaque Knicks because NY is more black game rahter white playas.
    You have to introduce Novak and the white ones.
    To me it´s more like ny yankees and ny mets.
    Everybody loves NY except Miami.
    Let´s go Heat.

  18. amitpal says:

    Not buying this becuz its only 3 ganes and they’ve been red hot shooting. But what heppens when those shots dont fall. What hapoens when amare comes back. Amare and melo cant co excist but they need amare and his post presince. Last year amare was willing to drop his numbers foe the better of his team. Can he do that again? Can he olay defense? Can he play offensive ly whitout stopping the ball. Until all these questions r answered the knicks r not an lefitment team.

  19. vern says:

    I think the team is for real. Nobody expects them to go 82-0, If you watch the games you can see the commitment to winning no matter who the points are coming from. The defense have been beautiful to watch and luckily the offense is rolling. Carmelo has even changed his playing ways. I did see Melo revert back a few times with holding the ball but i’ll give him that. I’ve NEVER seen Carmelo dive into the stands before.@ Steve Aschburner, while it has been only a few games you still have to give them props. You sound more like nothing the team did is them. The Philly games in your eyes are not the Knicks showing improvements but more the 76’ers are playing bad. It’s not easy beating a pro team 2 days in a row with the 2nd game in their house. The Miami win was just an emotional win. So you’re saying the win doesn’t count because it was all just emotion. All wins by all teams are emotional. Being focused is being emotional. The Heat knocked them out of the playoffs in 5 games. They want to prove to themselves that they can beat the Heat and they did that. Just like with all other teams, a win is a win. If when you play a team and their best player is hurt, that’s on them not the Knicks. Emotion, talent,whatever the reason is, it’s in the win column . All i’m saying is give the team some credit instead of waiting for the let down.

  20. rtotjdsfjgndsfkjng says:

    I think everything will be messed up when Amare returns because Amare and ‘Melo can’t co-exist!

  21. Joe The Police says:

    I believe that the Knicks will prevail when Walt Clyde Frazier retires. His track record of pointing out the negatives , 1st to accuse the knicks of malicious play and using the camera to stir up drama is knicks most un detected and most corruptive behavior the knicks will over come. He will have the knicks booing the knicks when the 1st opportunity is available. Knicksshoutout describes him perfectly. Knick heckler. He’s so smooth, most fans are oblivious. Watch closely how he works the replays and subtle remarks. He’s poison.

  22. Kamote says:

    The Melo and Stat chemistry will always be the problem with NY. But the thing is, I also don’t agree in trying to play Stat off the bench and limit his minutes. That’s a lot of wasted offensive weapon (and money LOL). Mike Woodson has his hands full in really making the Melo-Amare tandem work. This is the only way for teams like Miami and Boston to even look at NY as contenders in the playoffs.

  23. I’m not convinced, but I am impressed with their ball movement with the two point guard lineup and their defense thus far. If Amare can come in & regain that pick & roll magic he had with Felton a few years ago, and buy in defensively as Melo has, then they will definitely be able to challenge Mia & Boston for top dog in the east. The only thing that could go wrong is when Shumpert & Stoudemire return; how is Woodson going to distribute the playing time. Other than that, most of the veterans on this team are defensive minded just like their coach; so if they are consistent on that end of the floor, they will be in every game, and if they keep it close till the 4th quarter, they have the best clutch percentage shooter in the league in Anthony to close the deal.

  24. ian says:

    They have all the pieces. They have guys like melo and j.r. that can get there own shot. Lights out shooter in novak. 2 pg’s that can get it done in kidd and felton. On top of that, the veterans for leadership defensivly and they all look to be ready and in great shape. Woodson is a no b.s. coach ta boot. Not claiming championship here, but they shoul not be overlooked! Wait til shump gets back.