Knicks Need to Think Really Big Next Season

By Jerald L. Hoover
Updated: April 28, 2011

NEW YORK—By now the entire free world knows that New York Knicks have been eliminated from Playoff competition. And they are the only team that has been swept out of the first round. Sure they were short (pardon the pun) handed with injuries but besides that, it didn’t seem like the Knicks stack up in size and with the exception of games 1 and 2, the defense was non-existent.

That needs to change and change quickly if the Knicks are going to become championship-like successful. The first thing they need to do is bring in guys with talent but with size. They need size in the manner of true (not the inflated listed height) 6-foot-10 and above. They cannot continue to play with undersized power forwards and centers; it just does not work. It doesn’t even look right as a line up. It doesn’t make other teams feel that they have much to worry about driving down the lane to the hoop. Every other team in the NBA that is left and even those that were recently disqualified had some sort of size upfront.

The up and down and run and gun style of basketball isn’t realistic in the Playoffs. Getting out and running on a fast-break is one thing, but to think you’re going to run a wide open type of offense in a tight playoff series when every possession counts is unwise.

Fortunately for the Knicks they have one of the game’s best closers. They have a man in Carmelo Anthony that can not only take over a game and carry a team on his back, but can finish as he is at the top of the food chain in player’s you want the ball in his hand in the closing seconds. They have a second superstar player that can dominate a game in Amare Stoudemire.

But, those two players need help in a variety of ways. True they both need to become and remain defensive players. And their defensive premise needs to be something that resonates from the stars. Both players are solid guys and well liked around the league not just in the Knicks locker-room. They will do the right thing.

Now the Knicks front office needs to do the right thing and convince Coach Mike D’Antoni that size matters and that he needs to utilize such size if he wants to coach this team. Having Stoudemire who is a natural power forward be forced into extensive minutes at the center position can wear him down. That became evident with his painful back ailment that rendered him almost useless. He wasn’t the same after pulling a muscle in his back before game two.

Three big men with a defensive and rebounding mindset at a minimum is what’s needed to make the Knicks competitive. Also it wouldn’t hurt if the coaching staff had at least one coach that taught defensive schemes. Having this would go a long way to ensuring the Knicks at playing and maintaining championship quality basketball. And with ticket prices at Madison Square Garden rising up to 49 percent, enhancements are necessary.

KNICK KNOTES: Knicks have decided it was best re-up point guard Chauncey Billups for 14 million than to risk not having anyone to man the position at all. From the looks of things, Toney Douglas is more of a backup shooting guard than a starting point. Billups has one year left on his contract.

Jerald L. Hoover