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News » New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-04-29

New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-04-29

New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-04-29
All the Knicks really had to do this season was compete, and they did for the most part. The fans in New York realize the goal was really to ship out prohibitive contracts so the organization can be a player when the marquee free agents hit the open market in 2010.

Of course, new coach Mike D'Antoni still wanted to make the playoffs.

"All our energy is going to go toward having a great summer with a good draft pick and free agent market, then we'll see," he said. "In September when the preseason starts, obviously the goal will be to make the playoffs."

While the Knicks shifted personnel and briefly contended for a postseason berth, they faded, losing 14 of 18 down the stretch. David Lee became a consistent double-double contributor. Nate Robinson became a reliable spark off the bench. Wilson Chandler became a star in the making. Danilo Gallinari became a confident shooter without ever being healthy. There is hope for a better future.

Knicks president Donnie Walsh got rid of Stephon Marbury and several other heavy contracts like Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford, ensuring the franchise will have cap space after next season. Equally as important is the new environment. There was very little drama this season. It's about basketball now.

Some difficult decisions lie ahead.

Walsh must figure out how much Lee and Robinson are worth. Both are restricted free agents. Simply put, the Knicks cannot open the checkbook and give up the cap space they need to secure a marquee name down the road. The plan is to see what kind of money is offered before making a decision.

In order to entice help, the Knicks need to improve on a 32-50 season. Only a couple of players are locked in. Walsh needs to come up with at least two more players who can be part of the nucleus going forward.

He's got a first-round pick, so it has to be a good one. Walsh is also planning to be active on the phone in case there's an opportunity to secure talent with some of the pieces that he's already got. He would love to get rid of Eddy Curry, but that would be the deal to end all deals. More than anything, the Knicks need some defensive help, preferably a physical forward with the ability to block a shot or two. Chris Duhon wore down, so they might also be looking for a playmaker with leadership skills.

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: It happened while most of the Knicks were on the beach. Nate Robinson captured the country's imagination as Krypto-Nate, flying over Orlando star Dwight Howard, aka Superman, on All-Star Weekend to capture the slam dunk championship for the second time.

TURNING POINT: After winning three games in a row on the road, the Knicks came home within range of a postseason berth and promptly lost to New Jersey and Sacramento on March 18 and 20. The slide hit six before they upset New Orleans, but the lack of energy and lousy defense left them playing out the string.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 29, 2009


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