Sep 10, 2010 Blog
After several years of complete destruction in order to clear the cap space necessary to land LeBron James, the Knicks came up empty and had to settle for adding only Amare Stoudemire. Stoudemire is still a good catch, but the Knicks don’t gain much since they lost David Lee, a power forward that was already a fantasy star in his own right. The Knicks brought in Raymond Felton to run the point and Kelenna Azubuike to challenge for the starting shooting guard spot. Danilo Gallinari will likely start at SF, Stoudemire at PF and Ronny Turiaf at C, however there are many possible lineup combinations and we won’t really get any answers until camp gets going in October.
Projected Depth Chart
PG – Raymond Felton, Toney Douglas
SG – Kelenna Azubuike, Wilson Chandler, Roger Mason, Andy Rautins
SF – Danilo Gallinari, Bill Walker, Landry Fields
PF – Amare Stoudemire, Anthony Randolph
C – Ronny Turiaf, Timofey Mozgov
Coach – Mike D’Antoni
2009 Team Stats
Pace: #7, 94.0 (avg. 92.7)
Offensive Rating: #17, 107.6 (avg. 107.6)
Defensive Rating: #27, 107.6)
Team eFG%: #9, 50.9 (avg. 50.1)
Offensive Rebounding: #27, 23.5 (avg. 26.3)
Defensive Rebounding: #27, 72.1 (avg. 73.7)
Opponent eFG%: #30, 52.6 (avg. 50.1)
Points Per Game: #9, 12.1 (avg. 100.4)
The Knicks are pretty much the Golden State of the East, which is a good thing for fantasy value, especially when your fantasy players are going against the horrible Knicks defense. They even have three former Warriors on their team this season with Azubuike, Randolph and Turiaf. New York was weak in both offensive and defensive rebounding, and they lost their best rebounder in David Lee. The Knicks were also ranked dead last in opponent’s eFG% allowed.
Playing Time and Usage Rates
Usage Rate illustrates a player’s involvement in the team’s offense.
Player (2009 MPG) Usage (2009/Career)
Douglas (19.4) 19.8/19.8
Felton (33.0) 19.2/21.1
Chandler (35.7) 20.2/20.2
Azubuike (25.7) 19.9/18.2
Gallinari (33.9) 19.3/18.9
Stoudemire (34.6) 27.3/26.2
Randolph (22.7) 23.9/22.6
Turiaf (20.8) 11.3/14.1
Amare Stoudemire is clearly the primary offensive option on this team. All of the backcourt options have slightly above average usage rates, but none of them are high enough to be considered a heavy part of the offense. It amounts to one star and four role players. Gallinari and Azubuike have the biggest chance of seeing their usage rates go up, especially Azubuike if he can grab that starting SG spot. Anthony Randolph had a surprisingly high usage rate in Golden State, so keep an eye on what the Knicks have planned for him. Ronny Turiaf is strictly a defensive player with a well below average usage rate.
Shooting Ability and Shot Location
Player Career eFG% Career 3PT Jumper/Inside
Douglas 54.5 1.2/3.1 (38.9%) 71/29
Felton 49.4 .9/2.9 (32.7%) 63/37
Chandler 48.7 .8/2.7 (30.8%) 62/38
Azubuike 51.9 1.0/2.5 (40.9%) 59/41
Gallinari 52.9 2.0/5.1 (38.9%) 82/18
Stoudemire 54.5 0/0 51/49
Randolph 45.5 0/0 56/44
Turiaf 51.4 0/0 38/62
At PG, Douglas is probably the better shooter, but I’d like to see a larger sample size for Douglas before drawing that conclusion. Shooting ability is where Azubuike has the advantage over Wilson Chandler in the battle for the shooting guard spot. Azubuike is clearly the better option. Gallinari is an excellent shooter and most of his damage comes from the perimeter. Stoudemire has an excellent 54.5 eFG%, while Randolph really needs some work at 45.5 eFG%. With all the shots that Randolph takes at the rim, he really should have a better shooting percentage. Turiaf can hit a few inside.
New York will lean on Azubuike and Gallinari when they need a three and Douglas can also provide a three when needed. None of the big men have three point capability. Felton and Chandler are weak options.
The one figure that was a bit of a surprise was the 59/41 split for Kelenna Azubuike. He has the ability to hit from beyond the arc, but he is just as capable taking it to the basket. Felton and Chadler have very similar splits while Toney Douglas is the most perimeter oriented of the backcourt players.
Azubuike and Chandler are very similar rebounders and both are above average from the SG spot. Gallinari is weak rebounder, especially when you consider that he is 6’10. Stoudemire is a solid rebounder and his rebound totals could increase in New York. Randolph is an excellent rebounder and that could earn him minutes at the center spot. Ronnie Turiaf is an energy guy, but he’s a little weak in the rebounding category and probably not a great option at center for the Knicks.
Mike D’Antoni isn’t a defensive coach and sometimes it looks like the Knicks have no defensive plan at all. They finished the 2009 season ranked #27 in defense and #30 in eFG% allowed.
PG – Toney Douglas and Raymond Felton are both good defensive players and the team doesn’t lose anything with either player on the court.
SG – Azubuike tried to play some defense in Golden State and showed decent ability. Wilson Chandler is an excellent defensive player and can block shots from the guard position.
SF – Danilo Gallinari is an average defender and his size gives him an advantage over some smaller players.
PF – Amare is below average on defense, but he isn’t on the Knicks to play defense anyway. Randolph is going to be an excellent defensive player in a year or two.
C – Ronny Turiaf is all about defense and energy. He’s 6’10, 247 and can bang with the big guys. His defense is what keeps him in the league.