Its 2013 and the Knicks are moving forward driving 200 miles per hour deeper in to the era of Carmelo. Coming off the deflating news that Tyson Chandler will be out 4-6 weeks, the state of the Knicks is not so solid in the short term but its the long term that has and always seemed to stifle the Knicks. Melos hint at wanting to feel wanted in 2014s free agency should be the least of the Knicks worries. After all, this is not Dwight Howard in LA, if there has been anything the Knicks have done right it is laying down the infrastructure for Carmelo Anthony to stay. First the trade that saw the Knicks give up so much to land Anthony in MSG, the departure of Dantoni, and the resigning of Woodson all make it abundantly clear that Dolan is doubling down on the Melomeister.
Heres the problem. Carmelo, for all his accomplishments as a great scorer, and improvements the Knicks have made since his arrival, is deceiving. Mired in a seedy horrible outlook, the Knicks are like that guy at the office who lost 10-15 pounds over the summer, but is a bad break up away from binging on Ben & Jerrys. Sure the Knicks won a playoff series but they did so against a Rondo-less Celtics team. And after opening up a 3-0 series edge, leading them to come up with the smart idea to wear black signifying the death of the Celtics only to blow the next two games and coming close to a game 7 after nearly blowing game 6 as well. In the second round the Knick defense saw Lance Stephenson become the second coming of Skip to My Lou on an And 1 mixtape.
Only a week into the season its hard to lock the four top teams in the east, but gauging from off season acquisitions and the pedigree of teams still on the powerhouses of the Eastern Conference it seems like the Knicks are on the outside looking in. KG, Paul Pierce are old but still look crafty. Lebron is still Lebron. Paul George, well hell who knows what hes going to turn in to. The Bulls are still defense in a can, with a little D Rose they can add in. The Knicks are probably not as good as last years Knicks. Amare is a year older and about 30 turnovers away from retirement, Barnagni in deep bewilderment, JR Smith still at the precipice of greatness or stupidity from minute to minute. Carmelo is still Carmelo and has been Carmelo for about the last five years.
Knicks look like there headed for a 5th to 8th seed in the east. Certainly the best draw for the Knicks would be the cross town Nets. The Knicks best-case scenario is facing a deep roster with the names Deron, Pierce, Johnson, Garnett and Lopez in the starting lineup. This is why the Knicks are headed for a humbling season. Expectations are too high and have not been reconciled with reality. Carmelo is a great player in a league full of players better then him, Knicks are a good team surrounded by teams who do not concern themselves with just being good. The Eastern conference is getting stronger while the Knicks are still the Knicks, but hey its only 4 games right?