Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/25/13
Doesn’t it seem like the New York Knicks are trapped in a never ending “two steps forward, one step back” idiom? Every move they make toward a championship raises another question mark. The Knicks officially have a playing time issue on their hands. Still desperate to make some noise after the Nets’ blockbuster trade, New York inked the forward formerly known as Ron Artest to a two-year deal. World Peace, 33, can still defend multiple positions and knock down 3′s, but his 12.5 Player Efficiency Rating last year was the fourth lowest of his career. The Knicks front court is turning into a hodgepodge of talented, unproductive and mostly overpaid veterans, each of whom wants more minutes than he’ll get. The Eye Test shows us they have one superstar, three bench players who used to be stars but still want to start, one under performing All-Star center, and one Kenyon Martin. Coach Mike Woodson will have it tough this season keeping everyone happy. Who from that bench group will start? Bargnani’s outside game fits best in a Carmelo-heavy offense, but that pairing would leave the team vulnerable on defense. Melo would need to guard the opponent’s best forward, likely expending energy and affecting his ability to score. Starting Stoudemire may invite similar problems. To his credit, STAT played well off the bench last year and embraced the role. Would he be willing to do it again? He came to New York expecting the be the man, but only enjoyed that distinction for half a season. He and Anthony claim they can play together, but have yet to prove it. If they can share the court, Bargnani and World Peace could boast their own potent combo in the second unit. In either scenario, the Knicks starting line will score and allow points at an impressive rate. The cure-all appears to be World Peace. He and Anthony are both big small forwards capable of defending 3′s and 4′s, so World Peace would always guard the better players. And in this configuration, the bench looks pretty intimidating. Stoudemire, Bargnani and Smith offer a lot of scoring and fancy dunks, although minutes and field goal attempts would be scarce. Former stars generally don’t like seeing someone else take away their shots. (Photo Credit: Matt Slocum/AP) Plus, not that it should factor in at all, that’s seriously a LOT of money — over $35MM — to spend on three bench players. Front court depth may no longer be an issue for Mike Woodson and the Knicks, but if times get tough, player gripes may reach an all-time high.  
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