Three variables that could define the New York Knicks' season

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The New York Knicks are a franchise who have a lot to be excited about in the Eastern Conference this season.

After a disappointing campaign that saw them finish outside of the playoffs once again, president Phil Jackson moved to ensure they have the best chance of ending their cold streak.

Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee are three of the players that have been brought in. On paper, their team looks capable of challenging, but there are a lot of pieces that need to fall into place.

Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose recently fell out of SI's top 100 NBA players list, and it's clear to see why. The point guard had a poor season for the Chicago Bulls last year and needs to realise he no longer has the ability to be a franchise leader. 

That role falls to Carmelo Anthony, and it is best for all involved if Rose can play a supporting role to the three-time Olympic champion.

The point guard managed 66 games last campaign, the most since his MVP season, but averaged just 16.4 points and 4.7 assists on 42.7 percent shooting from the field, a 13.5 PER and a 27.3 usage rating. 

Rose is no longer the player he used to be, injuries have decimated his body, but he still has the ability to play a vital role in helping bring the best out of Anthony, who showed a new side to his game last season with career-high assists per game, and youngster Kristaps Porzingis.


Despite playing 66 games, there are still question marks over the fitness of Rose, and the same can be said for Joakim Noah.

The center, who was Defensive Player of the Year in 2014, was limited to just 29 appearances - two starts - as the Bulls missed out on the playoffs. 

Jerry Reinsdorf recently said Noah's best days are behind him, and the New York native needs to prove that is not the case. 

He has the potential to play a huge role, as does Rose as the starting PG, but remaining on the court has to be his first task. Otherwise, the signing could prove to be a huge bust.

Kristaps Porzingis

The Latvian was a sensation in the Big Apple during his rookie campaign but burnt out somewhat in the second half of the season. 

He averaged 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 42.1 percent from the field but the new season will offer up different challenges. 

Porzingis was one of two options on a struggling Knicks team, but with so many others at Jeff Hornacek's disposal this season, he has more to live up to.

He may see less of the ball, but making the most of it is what matters. With the attention now on him after his rookie year, it's time for the European to deliver. 

New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Joakim Noah
Chicago Bulls
Central Division
Kristaps Porzingis
Carmelo Anthony

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