|Written by Michael Patrick|
Bet on the NBAA day after their huge deal with the Denver Nuggets, the New York Knicks are continuing to hunt for talent to fill out their depleted reserve situation.
While head coach Mike D'Antoni has already penciled in his starting line-up, which includes Stoudemire, Anthony, Billups, Fields, and Turief, team president Donnie Walsh has claimed that the Knicks are not doe and will pursue other players before the Thursday deadline. The depleted bench will consist of Shawne Williams, Toney Douglas, and Corey Brewer, with Shelden Williams likely to be the go to guy to get Stoudemire and Anthony a rest.
With the trade, the Knicks actually add much more experience, including playoff experience, to their starting line-up. Anthony will be replacing Gallanari at the small forward position, and besides his nearly 26 points per game, Carmelo also brings much more game experience, 564 starts to Gallanari's 124 career starts. The veteran Billups, while maybe not the best fit for the up-tempo Knicks, brings nearly 865 NBA starts, which includes plenty of playoff and NBA Finals experience.
It is yet to be seen whether this decision will be beneficial to the Knicks, but most indicators point toward it. If they are able to find another Big man to give Stoudemire some help and a needed rest come playoff time, and they are able to pick up a shooter to round out their bench, this team could cause some problems out East this season. The rivalry with Miami could once again be ignited and the Garden could once again become the Staples Center of the East. A return to the glory days could be just within their reach.
“We think we have moved the rock ahead a little bit, but let's not get carried away and think we are challenging Miami, Boston, and all these teams. We are just not there yet,” commented head coach Mike D'Antoni.