It may be a new year on the calendar but for the NBA, the year is a third of the way done and both New York basketball teams have been in the news for various reasons. The Knicks have started the season as one of the best teams in the league while the Nets have been rather disappointing in their first year in Brooklyn.
Both teams should make the playoffs, but to make it through the playoffs the Knicks and the Nets could make a “New Year’s Resolution” to change from their past ways and become one of the NBA’s top tier teams. In a city starving for an NBA championship, these resolutions could be just what these teams need to elevate to the next level.
Knicks: Get healthy, and stay healthy
On Tuesday, it is expected that Amare Stoudemire will play his first game of the year as he recovers from left knee surgery. Despite the return of Stoudemire, superstar Carmelo Anthony and point guard Raymond Felton are now out with injuries that could sideline them for a significant time.
Getting Stoudemire back was the first piece of the puzzle, but other injuries have sidelined key players on the Knicks. When healthy, they have shown that they are one of the best teams in the league with maybe the best and deepest bench. They have a realistic shot to be one of the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference, which could prevent them from having to play the Heat in the playoffs until the conference finals.
However, there is a huge “if” factor with this team. IF they stay healthy, the sky is the limit for this team. IF they don’t, they could be a huge disappointment. The string of injuries that have hit this team is scary because they are the oldest team in the league, and the old guys are not even the ones getting injured.
With four and a half months to go in the regular season, there is plenty of time for more injuries to hit this team. The sooner they get the entire team back together playing, the better it will be for the Knicks. They will need some time to gel once everyone is up and running and the later that happens, the bigger disadvantage it is for the Knicks.
This is a team that is built to win this year so they must stay true to this New Year’s Resolution. However, we all know how hard resolution’s are to keep.
Now that Deron Williams has opened his mouth, his play will have to be much better before he wears out his welcome in Brooklyn. PHOTO COURTESY: JESSE D. GARRABRANT/GETTY IMAGES
Nets: Find an identity before the season is over
Just last week, Avery Johnson was relieved of his duties as Nets head coach paving the way for PJ Carlesimo as the interim head coach. They made their play for Phil Jackson and Kelvin Sampson, but then decided that Carlesimo was their guy.
Carlesimo better hope that he can win over the heart of point guard Deron Williams, who many are saying was the reason that Johnson got fired midseason. Williams criticized the team’s offense and then Johnson was shown the exit door a few days later.
This action shows that the organization feels this is Williams’ team, but the point guard has struggled this season adjusting with his new teammates. The play on the court would indicate that this is Brook Lopez’s team and when he’s good, generally the Nets are also.
In Carlesimo‘s first two games, Lopez was the go-to guy scoring 26 and 35 points respectively and grabbing 11 rebounds in both games. In Monday’s loss to the Spurs, Lopez only had 11 points and five rebounds.
Without him in the lineup, the team is only 2-5 with their only wins coming against the Magic and the Raptors; not exactly the NBA’s elite.
So what is this team’s real identity? Do they want Williams to run the show and be the guy, or is this really Lopez’s team? The clock is ticking for this team to get on track and if they don’t they won’t have a chance to make an impact in the playoffs this year.
Follow us on Twitter – @NYSportskings
Contributor – Dave Ragazzo – @DRagazzo_Sports
The post New Year’s Resolution for the New York Basketball Teams appeared first on New York Sports Kings.