At the start of the 2015 offseason, the New York Knicks were expected to make a big splash.
They responded to these expectations by selecting rookies Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant in the Draft, as well as giving free agent deals to Robin Lopez, Derrick Williams, Arron Afflalo, Kyle O’Quinn, and Kevin Seraphin.
None of these players were the star that New York was looking for, but does it hurt to add five good players to a team that was struggling to find one?
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Outside of Carmelo Anthony, the talent on last year’s roster was minimal. Undrafted standout, Langston Galloway, was able to make a name for himself last season and has a chance to play a big role this season.
Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas, who earned their reputation from the endless hustle they each have, were given second shots to crack the rotation this year. However, that won’t be easy because they are now competing with some solid talent.
Starting with a bang
With Carmelo Anthony healthy for the first time in a long time, the Knicks are looking to start off this year with a bang.
The main headline is the play of Kristaps Porzingis and whether or not he plays well with Carmelo Anthony.
Through two preseason games, however, he has given Knicks fans something to be excited about.
Standing at 7’ 3”, Porzingis possesses size not common even in the NBA. Combine that with a 7’ 6” wingspan, smooth athleticism, and a deadly jumper, and he has all the makeup to be a big NBA star.
The main knock on Porzingis was that he may not be able to compete with the stronger big men in the league. Weighing in at only 245 pounds, he has a slight frame for a 7-footer.
However, he makes the most of his length which makes him a force on the defensive end, something experts thought he’d struggle with.
Porzingis’ achievements don’t eliminate that of others, however. His presumed competitor for minutes, Kyle O’Quinn, has been off to an incredible start.
In two preseason games, he’s averaged 14 points, nine rebounds, as well as three assists and a block in just 23 minutes per game.
Defensive anchor Robin Lopez will be a huge addition to this roster too, and so will Jerian Grant, who will most likely be the backup point guard for the team and will be a change of pace off the bench.
The biggest headline-maker, however, looks to be Carmelo Anthony once again, and that may be the best addition the Knicks made to their team all summer. It is clear he wants the team to succeed and he is working hard so they can do it. A lot of his summer has been mentoring Porzingis as well as other additions to the roster.
While this year may not be the year the Knicks are contending, the playoffs are for sure a possibility.
If this team ends up playing to their full potential, maybe a championship is closer than one might think. With the cap set to rise next summer, the team will have enough cap to add a few more pieces or even one big one. Hey, Kevin Durant! We can only dream.