Your team is an old Rap Album: The 2013 New York Knicks are "The Score" by the Fugees

Alright. I’m gonna catch a mountain of shit for what I say here. I know this. Still, it’s an opinion I don’t back down from.

“The Score” is bullshit.

Yeah, it had hits. Set the world on fire and all that. Wyclef coasted for a decade on the fumes of it, Lauryn Hill became (briefly) a mega-star and “Killing Me Softly” was tattooed on all of our brains for years. So the fuck what. For me, it’s still a vastly overrated record that features alot of style but no substance, a bunch of lazy samples and makes it’s bones on the strength of other peoples’ material. Their first album was nothing special but definitely not terrible. This one was a quirky pop smash and one of the first signs of hip-hops deterioration into mainstream bubblegum territory.

Sorry, that’s just how I see it.

The Knicks ain’t got me fooled either. Yeah, they’ve got a couple “superstars” (if you can even call Amar’e that these days) and they play in the largest market and are actually not terrible for the first time in forever, but let’s not go confusing that with greatness or anything close to it. As it stands, it’s a decent team with an average coach that maybe, just maybe, can will it’s way to 50 wins if everything breaks just right.

Most likely not, though. After bungling up their cap, blowing any chance they had at Chris Paul or any other mega free agent for years to come and letting Jeremy Lin walk for noting out of some sort of foolish pride type deal (blame owner James Dolan for that nonsense), they’ve basically locked themselves into this roster for the next few years. Stoudamire/Anthony/Chandler is nice enough, but not for what they are being paid and certainly not when you consider the lethargic supporting cast.

So don’t go getting all confused on this issue. The Knicks are a barely a good team, nevermind a great one.

Oh, and never it let it be said that I don’t find anything on this album to be redeemable. There is this one thing.

 

“HOW MANY MICS” (If everything goes right)

Well, let’s see here. Fat Ray Felton (or as we like to call him around these parts, Gooey Deschanel) is back to play the point guard after the Knicks let Jeremy Lin walk (for nothing!) out of some sort of misguided pride thing. Landry Fields is gone after being lifted in free agency by Toronto. Jason Kidd is here to play a little and mentor alot. Rasheed Wallace, 38 years old and two years removed from hauling his fat ass up and down the court for the Celtics, has signed here to back up Amar’e. Marcus Camby has come on the cheap to play out his golden years with the team he broke in with.

Alot of changes, to be sure.

If all of these changes come up aces, if JR Smith is able to man the starting two guard spot and not completely implode the chemistry, if Felton can play like he did in his first stint here, and if Wallace and Camby can stay healthy and provide depth in the middle, this team might actually do better than most people expect.

“READY OR NOT” (If everything goes wrong)

Yeah, the Knicks could pretty damn good if the new guys get in where they fit in and the stars produce. That’s a shitload of “if’s”, though. In fact, nothing is certain for here, save for maybe Tyson Chandler’s contributions on the defensive end. Amar’e Stoudemire appears to have aged about 5 years last season, looking slow and earthbound, and Carmelo Anthony had his worst scoring season in 8 years and battled injuries.

The more I think about it, the more I really see this as a feast or famine season in New York. Honestly, this team could gel completely and win 55 games or go in the tank and win 30. There are just so many variables at work here.

The Reality

I’m gonna split the difference and say they win 45 games and get bounced in the first round. We have to assumer Stoudemire’s best years are behind him until he proves otherwise, and there’s just not enough stability here in terms of guys you can count on.

Again, there is the talent to compete at a very high level if they catch alot of breaks, but it’s certainly not realistic to expect that will be the case.

The sins of the Carmelo Anthony trade will continue to cast a pall over this team  for years to come. Whatever genuine promise this team held two years ago was bartered away on that day. Barring some sort of divine intervention, the Knicks won’t ever make a serious title run with this unit.

Better than losing to be sure, but so much less than what could have been.

-JH

 

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