Playoff Contention: New York Knicks
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Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something blue.
That's the wedding traditional rhyme that succinctly describes the 2012-13 New York Knicks to a T.
Especially that something old part.
The Knicks revamped their surging 2011-12 squad when 40-year-old vet Jason Kidd and 28-year-old point guard Raymond Felton donned the Blue & Orange, teaming up with standards Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Amare Stoudemire to form a nucleus of players who combined had much postseason experience.
Mix that batch with a squadron of 20th Century winning veterans--35-year-old Kenyon Martin, 40-year-old Kurt Thomas, 39-year-old Marcus Camby, 38-year-old Rasheed Wallace and 36-year-old Pablo Prigioni--and the Knicks came up with a formula of taking their winning basketball to the next level (a .545 to .649 winning percentage improvement).
Even with standouts going down to injury and losing game time in the double digits, some old-head replacement would pick up where someone else left off, as New York maintained its' East Top 3 status all season long (Melo missed 13 games; Felton, 12; Chandler, 10; Stoudemire, 44; Iman Shumpert, 37).
There is no doubt that Anthony and Chandler will vie for All-NBA accolades, while Smith is a deserving Sixth Man of the Year candidate.
But the real story in the city with eight million of them is how the Knicks veterans kept this ship sailing onward no matter what.
Like we've said here before, you can never be too old in the NBA.
Vets win, Baby!
The Knicks don't start J.R. Smith, but when they have gone to their three-guard lineup (Felton, Kidd, Smith, Anthony and Chandler), there is no better quintet in the NBA, with this Fab 5 registering a +26.5 net rating per 100 possessions in 248 minutes (best in the league when you set a three-minutes-per-game minimum). I like to call this their MavNuggets lineup since the aforementioned played with each other as teammates for those two organizations (Chandler and Kidd were Mavericks; Anthony, Smith and Felton were Nuggets). The 117.3 offensive rating and 90.8 defensive rating makes you wonder if New York's MavNuggets group could hold its own with Miami when the Heat go to its Fast Five lineup of Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, Shane Battier, LeBron James and Chris Bosh). One can only hope we see this matchup at crunch time in the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Coach Ed Woodson has not had as much proven success with other sets he has tried, but he really does have a nice base when he calls on Anthony and Chandler, with the duo registering a +7.3 net rating in a team-high 1582 minutes together.
THE 5,000 MINUTE RULE
The 5,000 Minute Rule says most championship teams have five-plus players together for at least 5,000 minutes before they win a championship, and the Knicks have three men already in The 5G Club with Kurt Thomas (13,595 minutes with the Knicks), Anthony (5444) and the injured Stoudemire (5367) already clearing the barrier. Most likely, though, they won't be joined in deep chemistry territory until next season when Chandler (4293), Felton (4140) and Smith (3587) cross the threshold.
LORD OF THE RINGS
Chandler and Kidd earned their rings with the Dallas Mavericks' 2011 NBA championship squad, while Rasheed Wallace got his ring with the Detroit Pistons' 2004 NBA championship team.
Hollinger Playoff Odds say New York has a 13 percent chance to reach the 2013 NBA Finals and 4 percent shot to win the NBA championship; Basketball-Reference says the Knicks have a 12 percent shot to reach the 2013 NBA Finals and 3 percent chance to win the title.
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C TYSON CHANDLER: 63 games, 32.8 mpg, 10.6 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 19.1 PER, +6.4 Net, +3.2 On/Off
C Amare Stoudemire: 29 games, 23.5 mpg, 14.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 22.1 PER, +3.0 Net, -2.5 On/Off
C Marcus Camby: 24 games, 10.4 mpg, 1.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 8.6 PER, -0.3 Net, -5.7 On/Off
C Kurt Thomas: 39 games, 10.1 mpg, 2.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 13.3 PER, -1.2 Net, -7.0 On/Off
PF CARMELO ANTHONY: 60 games, 37.2 mpg, 27.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 23.4 PER, +6.0 Net, +2.7 On/Off
PF Kenyon Martin: 16 games, 24.3 mpg, 7.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 15.0 PER, +5.9 Net, -0.7 On/Off
PF Rasheed Wallace: 20 games, 14.6 mpg, 7.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 16.9 PER, +4.7 Net, -0.4 On/Off
SF J.R. SMITH: 73 games, 33.5 mpg, 17.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 17.0 PER, +5.9 Net, +2.8 On/Off
SF Steve Novak: 72 games, 20.0 mpg, 6.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 11.8 PER, +7.3 Net, +3.8 On/Off
SF Chris Copeland: 47 games, 13.0 mpg, 7.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 15.8 PER, +3.7 Net, -1.6 On/Off
SG JASON KIDD: 68 games, 26.9 mpg, 5.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 13.7 PER, +5.7 Net, +1.4 On/Off
SG Iman Shumpert: 36 games, 20.9 mpg, 6.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 11.5 PER, -3.5 Net, -10.9 On/Off
SG James White: 51 games, 6.5 mpg, 1.8 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 7.4 PER, -5.7 Net, -11.9 On/Off
PG RAYMOND FELTON: 61 games, 33.9 mpg, 14.1 ppg, 5.5 apg, 15.3 PER, +5.6 Net, +1.3 On/Off
PG Pablo Prigioni: games, mpg, ppg, rpg, PER, +9.6 Net, +6.5 On/Off
2011-12 GONE KNICKS (.545)
SG Landry Fields: 66 games, 28.7 mpg, 8.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 12.0 PER, +2.4 Net, -1.7 On/Off
PG Jeremy Lin: 25 games, 26.9 mpg, 14.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 19.9 PER, +6.1 Net, +4.4 On/Off
PG Baron Davis: 29 games, 20.5 mpg, 6.1 ppg, 4.7 apg, 10.0 PER, +4.0 Net, +1.2 On/Off
PF Jared Jeffries: 39 games, 18.7 mpg, 4.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 10.9 PER, +2.6 Net, -0.5 On/Off
PG Toney Douglas: 38 games, 17.3 mpg, 6.2 ppg, 2.0 apg, 7.1 PER, -0.3 Net, -4.1 On/Off
C Josh Harrellson: 37 games, 14.6 mpg, 4.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 13.7 PER, Net, On/Off
PG Mike Bibby: 39 games, 14.3 mpg, 2.6 ppg, 2.1 apg, 7.8 PER, -2.4 Net, -6.5 On/Off
C Jerome Jordan: 21 games, 5.1 mpg, 2.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 18.3 PER, +11.8 Net, +9.1 On/Off
C Dan Gadzuric: 2 games, 6.5 mpg, 0.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, -4.3 PER, -9.0 Net, -9.4 On/Off
* Knicks that did not play in 2012 NBA Playoffs; returning players in boldface