By Max Marcilla
Last season, many people from analysts, to fans, to announcers would say, “The Knicks will go as far as Raymond Felton takes them.”
Well in retrospect, Raymond Felton took them to Game 6 of the second round, but is that enough? No, remember, he struggled in the final game, shooting 0-7 and a total of just over 40% for the 6-game series.
Fast forward to the present. Ray Felton has lost 15 pounds to make himself quicker and more agile, so Knick fans, I present you this question: can Ray Felton take the Knicks to the championship?
Losing 15 pounds may not seem tremendously important, but Raymond Felton had a problem last year with getting over screens. Losing the weight can make him quicker, and make him a better defender.
Losing the weight may also help him stay with opposing point guards, not only getting through screens but toe to toe with the best. Despite winning this past season, all Knicks fans remember the game at Madison Square Garden when they barely escaped Stephen Curry’s 54 points. Now, Curry was lights out, I doubt anyone could have stopped him. However, if you remember, at the final moment, Raymond Felton was quick enough to block Curry’s shot attempt, and essentially save a potential heartbreaking loss at home.
Now, what if the 15 pounds can help Felton do that more often. Maybe not blocks, but contesting shots, because he is quick enough to fight over screens, but with less weight on his bones he could possibly have a quicker elevation.
Not only could the weight loss help Ray on defense, but also it can help him on offense, providing more help for Melo at the same time.
This offseason, I watched many games from this past year. From highlights to re-runs, I have watched so much footage from this season that I am dizzy. In the games that Felton was hot, he was (in the words of Clyde) drivin’ and thrivin’, and dishin’ and swishin’. Felton has enough strength to drive to the basket and make lay-ups and floaters, but what if he could combine that strength with speed and quickness on a consistent basis.
Call me an optimist. Call me crazy. Call me delusional. But these 15 pounds will help Raymond Felton a long way, and help him take another big step up as a leader on the court for the New York Knicks.
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