What an offseason the New York Knicks had. Phil Jackson has finally begun to take his job seriously, and the results have been outstanding. The Knicks in 2016 will feature players that are, have been, and some point will be All Stars. But leading the way will still be Carmelo Anthony, but this time, he has some help.
The Knicks managed to rob the Chicago Bulls and walked away with Derrick Rose. While the Bulls felt there were doing themselves a favor due to Rose’s nagging injuries they, in turn, may have helped Rose become the player he once was. Sometimes all a player’s needs is a change of scenery to remember why they fell in love with this game in the first place.
The other big Knicks signing was of Rose’s teammate in Chicago and New York native, Joakim Noah. Noah will provide the blue-collar ethics the Knicks been missing since Charles Oakley left. Those two moves alone will provide Anthony the help he needs to get back to the playoffs, but Jackson wasn’t done.
After witnessing the disaster of a season, Arron Afflalo had at the 2-guard Jackson knew he needed an upgrade. With Afflalo now gone, the Knicks were looking to get defensive on the perimeter, which prompted Jackson to go after the Charlotte Hornets, Courtney Lee. Lee will not look to score 20 on average but, like Noah, he will provide the grit that will ease the pressure off Rose, Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis.
As for Melo’s running mate last season, KP, we can expect to see All-Star numbers as he can focus less on the defensive end as the Knicks swapped out Robin Lopez for Noah. With the Knicks taking a more defensive approach in ’16 on one side of the ball, HC Jeff Hornacek’s uptempo style of play should balance the scales heavy in the Knicks favor.
Rose is an attacking PG, looking to get to the rim to finish or to dish off to a perimeter player. With KP or Melo waiting on the corners the Knicks will be hard to contain. Anthony has had his share of talented teams while in Denver but what he has with the Knicks will far be his best, 1-12. After winning his 3rd Gold Medal in Rio, Anthony will head into the season hungry to lead the Knicks back to the playoffs.
But this time, he doesn’t need to shoulder the load alone.