Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks management team made some big off-season moves over the summer. Some good and some not so good depending on who you talk to. Those moves included acquiring Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee. Three veteran guys that are very talented and looking to make an impact immediately.
There guys are confident as they should be, as they’re preparing for the new season. Some too confident, as Rose made headlines mentioning their new team being in the same realm as the Golden State Warriors. But Courtney Lee added some thoughts on the Knicks being contenders (via Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders).
“We’re contenders, man. They didn’t make the playoffs last year, but we’re looking to change that and win big. The ring is the ultimate goal for everybody on the team; I know it is for me. When they talked to me and told me about the pieces they were adding alongside the players who were already there, I didn’t think anything less than a championship [was the goal]. We’re trying to get the Knicks back into the playoffs and win big. … Everybody is hungry and everybody has their own motivation or chip on their shoulder. We just need to come together, get that chemistry and see it click. Once everybody is together and everybody is hungry, I think we can be very scary.”
Can the New York Knicks be contenders this season?
Absolutely, but there are some major IFs that come along with that statement. Health is a big issue with this team and some of the new pieces that they’ve acquired. Rose and Noah have faced major injuries throughout their careers and Carmelo Anthony has had knee issues of his own. Remaining healthy plays a huge role like it does for any other NBA team but when you have guys that are so injury-prone, it makes you question if they can make it through an entire season.
Another big IF is chemistry. You have four guys who have all been stars in their own right and a 2nd-year phenom who is arguably, the face of the New York Knicks. Meshing all of these guys together makes you wonder what the outcome will be. Their success will depend on if they can put their egos aside and play as one. There’s a lot of potential with this team which makes me believe that they will be contenders this season. However, there are so many different little things that must go right in order for them to turn that corner.