The International Blogtable: The Needy Knicks


Every week, the International Blogtable brings together some of the best basketball minds from around the world, posing a burning question to writers and editors from the NBA's fleet of international web destinations. It's a BIG world, after all.
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The Knicks: What do they need to compete for a title, and how can they get it?
Pawel Weszka
Editor, NBA Africa

They need fresh legs and creativity. Having so many experienced veterans worked well in the regular season, but the Playoffs’ physicality brought fatigue and inconsistency. Carmelo needs more support on the offensive end as the Knicks become predictable – when the Knicks top scorer does not get double-teamed on a post up play, the basketball stops moving. They need a versatile big man and Felton stepping up in running the offense, but with big bucks locked up in Anthony, Chandler and Stoudemire’s contracts, pursuits of big summer trade opportunities will be limited
Hanson Guan
Editor, NBA China

Carmelo Anthony clinched his first-ever scoring title in his 10th season, while J.R. Smith was named Sixth Man of the Year. They led the Knicks into their first Eastern semifinals in 13 years, and though they didn't go any further, there was a lot to like about the 2012-13 Knicks season. On paper, they are now second to Heat, but more chemistry is needed if they want to pose real challenge to the defending champions. Their current lineup means they should continue to revolve around Anthony; tinkers won't do them good if they are to threat Heat. If they are able to offload Amar'e Stoudemire (someone whom, I'm afraid, few teams would dare take on at this point) and replace Raymond Felton with an all-star PG, they are likely to improve. Even so, it remains difficult to undermine Heat's hegemony in the East within two or three years.
Philipp Dornhegge

I loved Ian O'Connors assessment the other day - even though he can get very emotional with these Knicks: He wrote that J.R. Smith is a fourth option on a true championship contender. I wholeheartedly agree, and since the Knicks use Smith as a second option, they're in trouble. Will they bring him back next season? Probably. Because what else can they do? They will be over the salary cap for the next two years and have big-time money committed to Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby and Amare Stoudemire, the latter of whom can't stay healthy, doesn't fit with the rest of the team and is virtually untradeable. The Knicks need at least one more star and several smaller pieces but won't be able to get much.
Eduardo Schell
Editor, NBA España

The Knicks can become a contender once the Big Three era ends in Miami and only if they truly become a team and not a one-man show. The need to be more consistent since J.R. Smith is a big question mark and so, at this point in his career, is Stoudemire.
Stefanos Triantafyllos
Editor, NBA Greece

As they say, experience is something you get after you... need it. That's the story with the Knicks. They may have a lot of veterans, but they don't have players that have been involved in a championship run. OK, leaving out Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler. Such players can provide the leadership, the clutch plays, the determination and the focus needed for a team to make the next step. They have the talent, so they must find the way to get the most out of it when winning counts the most.
Karan Madhok
Blogger, NBA India

This is a point guard’s league, where teams that have decent quarterbacks can help set an offense and keep the ball moving. The Knicks desperately need better ball movement to take the next step up, and currently, their two highest-paid players – Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire – cannot co-exist with both having a shoot-first mentality on offense. Felton, Kidd, and Prigioni have been half-decent but they need an upgrade at the PG position. Unfortunately, the Knicks' future looks bleak since the team of elder statesmen was built to ‘win now’. They don’t have enough financial flexibility to bring in a super-talented player next season. What they can hope for is to make a minor trade and hope to strike lucky with an underrated PG just looking for a chance to shine.
Aldo Avinante

New York is one dependable post player away from being a true contender for the NBA championship. Their small-ball approach was exploited by the bigger and more physical Indiana Pacers. David West roughed up Carmelo Anthony in the four-spot - still an unnatural position for Melo - while Paul George's length gave him problems. But what lacked in their season-ending series is a dependable scorer in the low-post and consistent work on the boards. Indiana simply outworked them in the big boy stats while they looked helpless when their three-point shots weren't falling. The postseason is a different animal: the game's pace slows down dramatically and the defense intensifies up a notch. Tyson Chandler needs help, but other than those problems they are still a very good ball club.