For the first time since the dawn of mankind, the Knicks are flush with young talent at pretty much every position. (Note: The phrase "barring any further offseason changes" applies to the entirety of this post and discussion. Join me in my world. It's much more peaceful here.) We have every right to be thrilled with the versatility, speed, and defensive potential now in Mike D'Antoni's arsenal. That said, there are still plenty of ?uestions to be answered in training camp and thereafter.
Jump with me.
First of all, is this the depth chart?
I'd guess that's pretty close to the real thing. Gallo will probably start at three alongside either Chandler or Azubuike, while Amar'e will start at the 4 or 5, likely alongside Turiaf or Randolph (the position, to me, doesn't matter that much nominally, as long as there's a help defender down low). Also, pencil Andy Rautins and Landry Fields on the ends of the 2 and 3 slots, and Jerome Jordan at the 5.
Will Coach D'Antoni play more than eight men?
Pick any box score from last year. I'd wager that only eight (if not seven) Knicks played more than 5 minutes. Granted, that was a very different team, but we know that D'Antoni prefers to keep a short rotation. I'd guess that the five guys in bold above are sure things and that Wil and Toney are set, while guys like Walker, Mozgov, Fields (Update: And Jerome Jordan. I'm a dick.) still have something to prove, with Eddy Curry as a wild card. Note that I'm leaving somebody out, which leads me to my next question.
Anthony Randolph will play, right?
The short answer is yes. Most definitely, 100% yes. He was probably the centerpiece of that trade for David Lee. Still, I'm concerned. For one, Don Nelson reportedly didn't always call Randolph's number when he could have. Nelson's decisions are about based about 10% on logic and at least 75% on Vedic astrology and/or voodoo, so that can probably be dismissed. Even still, Mike D'Antoni has shown similar hesitance to play youngsters in very recent history. D'Antoni's impatience for immaturity confined Jordan Hill to the bench, and that bro was a lottery pick! My point is that Anthony Randolph, for all of his otherworldly potential, is likely to have some lapses and brain farts on the court. The coach, meanwhile, has shown that he's got no
qualx qualms with benching young guys that he "should" be playing. Thus, I worry that the first time Randolph back-rims a tomahawk or goaltends a three-pointer, his bony ass is headed to the doghouse. These worries are probably totally unwarranted, but they're bugging me.
Is there a third point guard?
Assuming the aforementioned short rotation, D'Antoni will probably be satisfied to give Felton and Douglas ample minutes as the quarterbacks and leave it at that. What happens, though, if Raymond gets injured or Toney gets abducted by evil scientists trying to clone him in order to synthesize a race of perfect human beings? Who steps in as the back-up point guard? The Knicks have expressed a fancy for Danilo Gallinari as a "point forward" before. Landry Fields was handling the ball plenty in Summer League. Andy Rautins and Kelenna Azubuike are kinda short. It's plausible that D'Antoni would just let a Felton-less, Toney-less unit run wild without a head, but is there a legitimate third option amongst the ranks, should the need emerge?
If Eddy Curry is healthy, will he command minutes?
That experiment didn't go too well last year. It's a question that we're tired of asking, but every year Curry's under contract, it gets raised. I can't even guess at the answer.
Have you seen this Timofey Mozgov quotation?
Almost totally off-topic, but...wow:
"I will work hard to make (the fans) like me," he said. "I like to block and dunk. I think everybody likes when I do that."
I'd give this guy at least 8 minutes a game based on that line alone.
During a blowout, who will fans cheer for D'Antoni to bring off the bench?
It was Jerome James for a while, then it was Nate Robinson (though that wasn't nearly as playful). Who on this roster is the fan-favorite scrub? I may have answered this question with my last question.
Update: stingy d mentions Jerome Jordan. Equally likely.
Thoughts? Answers? More questions? Let's hear it in the comments.