#15 New York Knicks
Last Year in Review
Isiah Thomas took over as President of the Knicks December 22,2003. He completely revamped the roster and has just hired himself as the fifth coach since his hiring. Last years Knicks team spent about $110 million and produced 23 wins. Add about $30 million in luxury taxes and another $10 million or more to Larry Brown, Lenny Wilkens & whoever else they are still paying and they averaged spending around $6 to $7 million per win.
The facts about last year:
Record: 23-59, missed playoffs, last in Atlantic Div.
Scoring 95.7 vs. 102.1 ppg
FG%: 45.47% vs. 46.66%
3 pt shooting: 320/884 .362 vs. 565/1495 .378
Rebounds 41.4 vs. 38.6
Assists 17.9 vs. 21.3
Steals 6.8 vs. 8.2
Blocks 3.3 vs. 5.3
Turnovers 17.0 vs. 13.5
In short, the Knicks were lousy in every statistical category except rebounding. They need to improve perimeter defense, interior shot blocking, assist/turnover ratio, outside shooting.
They are the classic example of how not to build a team.
Best players last year were:
Marbury, PG 16.3 ppg, 6.4apg
Crawford, SG 14.3 ppg
Curry, C 13.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg 0.78 bpg
Rose, SF/SG 12.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Frye, PF 12.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg 0.72 bpg
Francis PG 10.8 ppg, 3.5 apg
Are gloomy at best. The roster is full of expensive ball hogs and undersized expensive power forwards. Isiah takes over as coach and the team is bound to improve somewhat. Last year Brown used something like 43 different line-ups and no one knew their role. That will change this year.
New players include Jared Jeffries, Renaldo Balkman and Mardy Collins who are all role players. Of the three only Jeffries will likely see many minutes. They lost C Jackie Butler to San Antonio who played well for them in 55 games last year.
One thing to look for is some variety of thug basketball. Isiah's Detroit teams during his playing career were full of cheap shot artists like Mahorn and Lambeer. The Indiana teams he coached also showed signs of thuggery, often at the expense of execution. Isiah seems to revel in and encourage this type of play. Softer players like Eddie Curry & Jerome James may lose minutes to Malik Rose and Maurice Taylor if they don't play along.
Games vs. Magic
Only 3 games scheduled this year vs. the Knicks. The Knicks season could be over by the time the Magic play them. Last year Magic were 3-1 vs. Knicks.
Feb 3 home.
Feb 20 @NY
Mar 26 @NY
Odds and Ends
There are over 80 international players in the NBA, accounting for almost 20% of the players. New York has no international players on its roster.
82games.com says the Knicks earned $38.0 million of their salaries last year.
Isiah Thomas head coaching career record is 131-115 in 3 years with Indiana. Indiana made the playoffs each year.
30-35 wins, last in Atlantic Div, miss playoffs.