By Eddie Castro
The NBA season kicked off last week and as much attention that has been paid the Brooklyn Nets with their off-season additions, the other team in New York suddenly became an afterthought. The Knicks are looking to prove to many Brooklynites as well as the rest of New York that they are still the number one team in the city. Coach Mike Woodson and company are looking to advance further in the playoffs this year after a disappointing loss in a six-game series to the Indiana Pacers. The Knicks added Andrea Bargnani, Metta World Peace, re-signed Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin to have depth to their bench and drafted Tim Hardaway, Jr. out of Michigan. All these moves were made for a chance to get back to the playoffs and avenge a disappointing loss to Pacers last year.
Through three games this year, the team has started off slowly. Bargnani has gotten his taste of New York and in three games he has not played well. He’s even heard some boos at Madison Square Garden. Aside Bargnani’s rude welcome here in New York, another problem lies for the Knicks and it involves their star player Carmelo Anthony. Anthony has been awful so far in the three games played this year. Melo is shooting just 37 percent from the field and has made just four three-pointers out of fifteen attempts. On Sunday night, he missed his final three shots as the Knicks comeback attempt failed in a 109-100 loss to the Timberwolves. Anthony assured everyone that he is indeed confident in his shot, however, he also acknowledged that he and the team are still trying to get it together on offense. You wonder if this big lineup that Mike Woodson has put out in three games will mesh well together with Anthony, Bargnani and Chandler in the front court and Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton in the back court. If this formula does not work, maybe the team should go small. Perhaps insert J.R. Smith into the lineup to take the load off of Melo to create more offense. The problem with that is Smith can sometimes be allergic to playing defense and that will be the team’s loss by benching Shumpert in favor of Smith when he comes back from his 5-game substance abuse suspension.
It’s still pretty early in the season for the Knicks to get it together. For now, coach Woodson can play around with the lineup to find the starting five that goes well together. Regardless of what lineup Woodson puts on the floor, the team needs leadership and their leader needs to set the tone for the rest of the team. It’s time for Anthony to get his shot going and play at the elite level that had him win the scoring title last year.
Sports Notes: (Basketball) The Brooklyn Nets head to the nation’s capital as they face John Wall and the Washington Wizards on Friday night. Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks look to get back on track as they finish up a home-and-home with the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. (Football) Fresh off a bye week, the G-men look to make it three wins in a row when they welcome in the Oakland Raiders. After an impressive win by the Jets this past Sunday over the Saints, the team has a bye week this Sunday. The Jets will head to Buffalo to face the Bills on November 17.