Last night’s game in Boston was the first time we saw the starting five that we can expect to see at the Garden for the season opener on Wednesday against the Bucks:
PG Calderon – had his best game thus far as a Knick
SG Afflalo – hurt his hamstring again, will Sasha start on Wednesday?
SF Melo – worst outing of the preseason but I’m not concerned
PF Porzingis – very shaky on D but had his moments on offense
C Lopez – solid short range jump hook, expect more from him in the regular season.
New York has strength in its bench, however:
PG Grant – best penetrator on the team
SG Galloway – solid sophomore with much less on his plate than during his rookie season
SF Cleanthony Early – seems so improved it’s like getting a new player
PF Derrick Williams – the “mvp of the preseason” according to Afflalo
C Kyle O’Quinn – both Kyle and Seraphin are hungry for minutes and will have to take advantage when they’re in to assure their role on the team as enforcer.
We have the role players from last year, Lance Thomas, Lou Amundson, and possibly a roster opening now that the training camp players have been cut.
The Knicks, particularly the rookies, look a little lost on defense, and need to learn how to not jump on pump fakes.
If the starting five can keep up in terms of speed with other NBA starting fives, we have a solid chance to be a 500 ball club this year, because the strength of the second unit is their chemistry.
Melo needs to find that balance of team play versus individual performance.
This year’s Knicks team is deep, so finding the right rotations will be easier for Derek Fisher.
There are, of course, Knicks fans who aren’t convinced of Fisher’s abilities as a coach. He was in a very difficult situation last season, hopefully this time around he won’t have the same type of adversity in the world’s most famous arena.