If it weren’t for the San Antonio Spurs signing LaMarcus Aldridge and David West, we might be talking about the New York Knicks as the winners of this summer’s free agency.
They didn’t get a star like Aldridge, but Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo and Kyle O’Quinn are all terrific signings that fit their system perfectly. Add in promising rookie Kristaps Porzingis, and suddenly the Knicks have the beginnings of a competent roster. As José Calderon tells Marc Berman of the New York Post, it’s too early to think playoffs, but not too early to think major improvements.
“A lot of bad things happened last year,’’ Calderon said. “We’ll win more than 17 games and we’ll try to win every game. I’m real excited we can do great things, but talking about the playoffs, it’s too early. You don’t talk playoffs a few weeks before training camp.”
As far as predictions and promises go, this is about as tame and boilerplate as you can get. That doesn’t detract from its truth, however.
The Knicks should be much-improved from the absolute mess we witnessed last year. Much of that promise hinges on the team’s continued acclimation to the triangle offense, something the newest Knicks will help with. Lopez and O’Quinn are ideal triangle bigs, both above-average passers who won’t demand the ball on offense. Afflalo, meanwhile, is the type of guard who can fit into any system, but the triangle’s emphasis on ball movement, cuts, and shooting should especially benefit him.
They’re not a championship-caliber team, obviously. They may not even be a playoff team yet. But, quietly, the New York Knicks are becoming something other than the laughingstock of the league.
(Via New York Post)