2008 NBA Preview: #28 New York Knicks

Offseason Movement: New head coach Mike D’Antoni needed a point guard to run his up-tempo attack, so the Knicks signed Chris Duhon to fill the role. They probably would have liked to do better, but when you’re $40 million over the cap and have a roster full of players that nobody wants, you’re options are limited. However, Duhon is a pass-first floor general who could surprise.
Keep Your Eye On: Mike D’Antoni’s blood pressure
With Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry still on the roster (and penciled into the starting lineup) it’s not clear how D’Antoni will be able to effectively run his frenetic style of offense. Both players are slow-footed and neither guy is known to be a willing passer, two huge no-no’s in D’Antoni’s system. One player who should thrive is forward David Lee, who might be able to work his way into the starting lineup sooner rather than later.
The Big Question: Is this a lost cause?
Even with Stephon Marbury’s monster contract ($22 million) coming off the books next summer, the team is still in salary cap hell until the summer of 2010 unless they can rid themselves of Randolph ($14.7 million) or Curry ($9.7 million) before then. D’Antoni will bring energy to New York, but how patient will Knick fans be? It’s going to take a while to remake this roster, so will D’Antoni live to see it happen?
Outlook: The Knicks do have some talent on this roster. The aforementioned Lee and Duhon are unselfish players that are a good fit for what D’Antoni is trying to do. Jamal Crawford is a terrific scorer, and if he buys into the system (by passing up questionable shots to create opportunities for his teammates), he could have a nice season. Nate Robinson and Quentin Richardson have the potential to thrive as well. The wildcard is rookie SF Danilo Gallinari. As the first pick of the D’Antoni era, it’s crucial that he’s not a bust. The Knicks best lineup might consist of Duhon and Crawford in the backcourt, Richardson and Gallnari in the frontcourt, and Lee at center. They’d be undersized, but if everyone bought in, that might be a fun lineup to watch.

Check out our NBA Preview page for a look at every team. We’ll be posting three previews per business day, which will take us up to the start of the season on Tuesday, October 28th.

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