Some people would say Raymond Felton is the replacement for Jeremy Lin and others would say he is the better fit for the NY Knicks. Which ever opinion you have of him he is the starting point guard of the New York Knicks.
We were notified on 12/26 that Raymond has a fractured pinkie , but on the 27th were told that he will not need surgery and will be out at the most 4-6 weeks. This is a tough blow to the Knicks who are dealing with many injuries as it is. Here is a breakdown of the Negatives and Positives of the loss of Raymond Felton.
Raymond Felton has helped lead the Knicks to a 21-9 record. Although he is not the sole reason why, he has given his all and is as tough as nails. Raymond has battled through a multitude of injuries, 2 hands badly bruised and other nagging injuries have not stopped his determination to play. He gives you the element of tough defense and penetrating offense. He has the ability to push the ball up the floor and never backs down to defenders. He is the perfect defensive point guard for this team and the city he calls home, New York.
Raymond was brought here in 2010 to bring his defense and feed Amare the ball. Since his first stint in NY, he has been up and down in the other two cities he played in after the trade that sent him away. Denver and Portland were not the best of times for Raymond, but he was given a second chance to correct his mistakes. He came back to NY with a “Chip on my Shoulder” mentality. He started the season playing very well, but the last few weeks he has been slumping causing the Knicks to have some questionable games. Raymond is very important to this team, so when he does not play well the team struggles. His two badly bruised hands are some of the reasons for his shooting decline, resulting in his numbers slipping and turnovers with the ball. In the end, the Knicks were getting off to slow starts early in games and putting them in a comeback mode mentality that is not the position you would want to be in.
This surgery could be a blessing in disguise. This gives Raymond a chance to heal both his hands and pinkie. If he gets healthy maybe he can return to form and lead to this team in an epic playoff run. This time away from the court also gives Pablo Prigioni extended minutes to show what he can do.
The return of Iman Shumpert and the exit of Raymond Felton for 4-6 weeks allows the Knicks to avoid the back-court minute’s distribution problem. Iman can come back and ease back into the game as a spot will be open for him without leaving and “odd man out” dilemma for Mike Woodson.
In the end, the Knicks will miss Raymond Felton in every way. Those Knicks fans that thought Ray should sit have gotten their wish. He is out for maybe 4-6 weeks. But let me ask you this. Are the Knicks better off with Raymond or without? The clear answer is your own opinion, but in my mind, Raymond Felton is a tenacious and quality shooting point guard who needs a rest to heal from his injuries. When he is healthy, he will get back to what he does best. Defense, penetrate, push the ball and feed the bigs.
Peter A. Knickswag Chief