1) Unless Amare loses the weight and rediscovers athleticism, he should accept, and commit to being like Oakley was... a jump shooting, stout defensive, rugged rebounding, intimidating power forward. If he tries to hold on to qualities that no longer exist, he'll be far less productive and far worse for team success... but if he can ignore the pressure of his bloated contract and maximize the strengths he does have, he can simply be a winning team player.
2) More important than having 2 max contract guys... is having a team that breeds INTRAsquad competition for minutes. I can see our bench mafia putting a helluva lot of pressure on the starters, especially at MSG where the crowd is gonna cheer like hell for our 2nd stringers. And this makes this year even more important, because the likelihood of keeping all our depth after this year (because of the 3 big contracts) is very low (I can see Novak, JR, Landry and LIn all commanding larger salaries beyond our budget).
3) The New York crowd and the media will make or break Melo. This is the most sports savvy town and Melo's game will be under more scrutiny than he's ever known, which means we (fans and media) won't stand for selfish, non-team, non-winning, empty-stat basketball... which means he either evolves and becomes a winner... or he crumbles and becomes Vince Carter.
4) The only way we can beat Miami or OKC is with our depth. Their big 3 are far and away more versatile and consistently productive than Melo and Stat and Tyson (sorry Tyson). Their talent, youth and athleticism are too much for anyone, but if we can throw constant waves of 100% effort for 48 minutes, maybe... just maybe we can wear them down. If we try to go star toe to star toe... we'll get schwanzed (that's Yiddish for embarrassed).
5) It's a travesty that Tyson is not at the very least a tri- captain. He's the Knickest Knick we've had since Ewing and Oakley... hands down. He belongs in a Knick uniform and plays the way Knicks should always play.
6) JR Smith will be a great inspiration for Shump Shump... and Shump will awaken JR's defensive streak... JR's explosiveness and athleticism mimics Shumps and will threaten his minutes... which will bring out the best in Shump, as will Shumps defensive prowess bring out the balance in JR's game. They're gonna wanna be on the floor together wreaking havoc.
7) Lin's best comparison is... stay with me... Jason Kidd. Above average size and strength, above average court vision, average outside shooter, likes to push the ball, deceptively good defensively. 80% of what Kidd has been, and we've got our PG for the next 8 years capable of some serious winning.
8) MDA can win this year with this team only... and if he doesn't, he's gone. MDA's system, strangely, is suited for our depth, even though he historically doesn't like depth... but he can't win with just our stars. With our numbers, he can use the intrasquad competition to play the guys against each other to play "his way". It's the only way he'll get Melo to run his system, by getting him to feel the pressure of losing minutes to other players who are winning by playing his style. Once the depth is gone with Melo and Stat as our core, so are MDA's chances of sticking around and winning.