The question that everyone wants to know that watches NBA basketball is, how good can the New York Knicks be? The answer is that the Knicks can be very good. The New York Knicks, once they figure out how all the pieces fit together, could challenge the Miami Heat for Eastern Conference dominance. With the addition of J.R. Smith and the discovery of Jeremy Lin, the sky is now the limit for the New York Knicks.
The problem that the New York Knicks face is that no one knows how all the pieces will coexist. Amare Stoudemire, Jeremy Lin, Carmello Anthony and J.R. Smith all have to form some semblance of team chemistry. The main problem that was apparent in last night’s game versus the New Jersey Nets was that Carmello Anthony was not sure where to fit in within the Jeremy Lin run offense. It was easy to see that Anthony was trying to find his place on the team. I cannot remember the last time that Carmello Anthony played 37 minutes and only had 11 points.
Can Jeremy Lin and Carmello Anthony coexist in New York?
Until Carmello Anthony finds his place on the team and fills his scoring role, the New York Knicks will be just another good team. However, once everything clicks for Anthony, the Knicks will become one of the great teams in the Eastern Conference. No one doubts that Carmello Anthony can score and put up some spectacular performances. The real dilemma is how long will is it going take for Anthony to figure out how to do the same without being the main focus of the offense? Carmello Anthony has to become a role player, who is willing to sacrifice his own personal numbers for the good of the team. I am not sure if Anthony can accomplish the feat, no matter how much Anthony claims he can. Carmello Anthony for most of his career has been a shoot first and ask questions later kind of player. This is definitely one of the most anticipated “wait and see” stories of 2012.
The sooner Carmello Anthony becomes another working part of the Knicks machine rather than driver, the better off the New York Knicks will be. The problem is that time is running short. The shortened NBA season gives the New York Knicks a limited amount of time to make everything fit together before the playoffs. The New York Knicks are going to have work overtime to develop the kind of team work that wins a championship in less time than many of the other top playoff contenders, including the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Miami Heat took almost all of last NBA season to finally come together and start playing like a NBA championship contending team. Even after the Miami Heat were deep into the NBA Playoffs, we still saw some lapses in team chemistry. The New York Knicks can only hope that their learning curve is much shorter and the team comes together before the NBA playoffs begin. If the New York Knicks are able to accomplish the task, the Knicks could ride the Lin-Mello-Stoudemire-Smith wave far into the playoffs.