Season in Review: Raymond Felton

by Charlie Widdoes

Statistically Speaking: Started all 65 games played. Averaged 9.7 points and 5.6 assists per game.

Year in Review: As training camp drew near, word out of MSG Training Center this summer was all about Felton. The Knicks had finished 2012-13 with the league’s third best offensive rating and were ready to take another step forward thanks to some reinforcements on the wings and a healthy season from their starting point guard.

With rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. in the fold and Iman Shumpert primed for his first full, healthy training camp as a pro, reports said that the Knicks' guards were flying up and down the court, with Felton as the catalyst. But as the season got underway, injuries interrupted New York's momentum before it had a chance to get rolling; his pick-and-roll mate, Tyson Chandler, went down with a broken leg just a week into the season and Felton dealt with his own lower body injuries that caused him to miss 16 games before the All-Star break.

The engine behind the Knicks' attack had to battle his way back to health -- he returned from a hamstring injury only to injure his groin in his first game back -- but eventually returned to health and settled into his role as the season wore on. His 3-point shooting ticked up after the All-Star break and he began to look more comfortable running the offense as Mike Woodson settled on a starting lineup with J.R. Smith and Amar'e Stoudemire.

During the eight-game win streak in early March that nearly propelled New York into the playoffs, Felton shot 46 percent from the floor and 39 percent from 3.

Season Highlight: Against the two-time defending champs at Madison Square Garden, Felton turned in his best floor general imitation with 13 points and 14 assists on January 9.

Looking Ahead: Since his days at North Carolina, where he led the Tar Heels to a National Championship in 2005, Felton has been at his best when he can push the pace. To maximize his mix of strength and quickness, he must be able to sustain health over the course of an 82-game season. Expect a bounce back from shooting numbers that fell below his career averages as he gears up for his ninth season.

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