You know the NBA basketball season is near when the major pre-season mags start rolling off the presses. This year the featured Knicks are Amar’e Stoudemire and Danilo Gallinari on the cover of Athlon Sports’ Pro Basketball mag.
The magazine analysts predict the Knicks’ improvements will result in a second place finish behind the Celtics in the Atlantic Conference and a spot in the playoffs. Do you agree?
FINAL ANALYSIS. The Knicks failed to get James but improved their roster in the off-season, and for the first time in years they have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. If Stoudemire can stay healthy and dominate, the Knicks could be a top eight team in the Eastern Conference.
Defense, which the Knicks considered optional most nights last season, will be imperative. They brought in some players who can defend, an activity that tends to be contagious. The addition of Felton also suggests that the guard play will improve.
“Everything now is about winning,” D’Antoni says. “Before, it was about clearing space.” At least the Knicks have their priorities in order again, Maybe they are back — back to being a playoff team. But they need another star to be a real contender.