The realistic Knicks fan enjoyed their team’s hot, early start but was under no delusions about its shortcomings and vulnerabilities. And guess what, those weaknesses are starting to show themselves. Shocking, but the Knicks are old. Old is not necessarily the problem. The sizzling start to the season had a lot to do with chemistry, uncharacteristically great shooting, tremendous ball movement and consistently solid defense. When injuries hit, there comes a domino effect. With it, those pieces paramount to the Knickerbockers’ early success begin to erode.
A suspension here. A plantar fasciitis and mystery stress fracture there. All of the sudden the depth is depleted. So while another drubbing at the hands of the Bulls at home is disturbing, lest we not acknowledge that a starting five featuring James White and Kurt Thomas is not part of the long-term plan.
The reality is that Krazy Kurt, ‘Sheed and Camby are not likely to all be healthy at any one time this year. That’s what happens when you’re old. Yet, they don’t all need to be. Two of three would certainly be nice. They are a necessary and valuable insurance blanket. Or at least they should be. Guys on the far end of the bench who have the veteran savvy to come in and keep your team in a game.
The bigger issue is the loss of Raymond Felton. For all the fat jokes and Jeremy Lin bellyaching, Felton had been doing a helluva job before his broken pinky. Felton’s minutes also meant fewer, more effective minutes for Kidd and Prigioni. The Knicks need Raymond Felton back in a hurry. The reallocation of minutes will no doubt have an immediate and noticeable impact on the offensive output and, frankly, the defensive intensity of the entire team.
Likewise, seeing Iman Shumpert’s flat top on the floor will be a sight for sore eyes, made only more welcomed with the recent injuries previously mentioned. Some have shown concern about the minutes and where they go, who suffers and Woody’s ongoing challenges. Not at all concerned. Depth is a luxury. This is a team trying to make a run. For the most part, egos have been put aside in the early going. Winning helps keep that trend going.
The Knicks need to return to their winning ways — and they will. Luckily, the cavalry is coming. Felton and Shumpert will re-balance the roster for the Knicks, particularly in the backcourt. Unfortunately, it won’t solve all the frontcourt issues immediately. Is Kenyon Martin the answer there? I’m not sure, but I’m not opposed to giving it a shot. And while it may be more thinking with heart than head, I’d hold onto ‘Sheed. That means Copeland, Thomas or White would need to be sent packing should the Knicks try to add Martin.
Regardless, the return of Raymond and Iman can’t come soon enough.
About the Author: Cecilio's Scribe is the founder of The Legend of Cecilio Guante and a generally pessimistic fan of the Mets, Jets, Knicks and Rangers. A fine NYC-based gentlemen who hones his marketing skills as his primary trade by day. Husband, chef, father of a newborn and after-hours blogger by night. Proud alum of the mighty Big Red of Cornell. University. Hot sauce devotee. Staunch protester of the continued wussifcation of American sports. Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick.