Knicks Player Preview: Raymond Felton

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2013/14 is a big year for the pit-bull style point guard of the New York Knicks. Since signing with the Knicks in 2010, getting traded away, then coming back for some unfinished business, Raymond Felton has the chance to lead the Knicks. However, Raymond Felton (2), Chris Bosh (1)his inconsistent play put the Knicks on their heels in the 2nd round and ultimately out of the playoffs. The blame will be given to J.R. Smith, but if you really look into it, Ray’s inconsistency played a large role into their 2nd round exit. The adage of “the Knicks will go as far as Felton takes them” definitely has credence here.

Knicks First Stint:

In 2010 Mr. Felton was a signing that many were not sure of. When he stepped on the court with Amar’e their chemistry started off very slowly. The pick and roll took some time, but once it clicked the Knicks and Amar’e took flight. Raymond’s ability to penetrate the defense and find Stat was uncanny. However, mid-season that changed, as Stat was worn down and the emergence of the Melo changed the chemistry on the team, as Ray was traded away in the Melo deal that started his downward spiral until his return in the 13/14 season. In 2010 Ray had a great stint in NY averaging 17 points and 9 assists in 54 games with NY.

After returning from a dismal two seasons in Denver and Portland, Felton had some unfinished business here in NY. He signs with the Knicks on a 3-year deal to finish what he started in 2010. His expectations were high, as he was replacing Jeremy “Linsanity” Lin, who took his talents to Houston.

 

Knicks Second Stint:

In 12/13, Raymond showed off a solid jumper early in the season, while showing the ability to penetrate to the rim for easy lay-ups, putting the defense on its heels.

After an injury sidelined him for a long stretch, Raymond’s return did not come with consistent play. His playoff contributions were uninspiring, as the Indiana Pacers bounced the Knicks in the 2nd round. Was this all Ray’s fault? Of course not, but his lack of leadership and his inconsistent penetration, coupled with his inability with the pass, contributed to the Knicks demise. He had admirable season, averaging 13.9 points, 5.5 assists in 68 games. Not bad for any player, but the Knicks need more from Ray to be a championship contender.

In 13/14 Raymond’s job is on the line. New York needs consistent play from his position, especially from Ray himself. With Beno Udrih behind him, Ray must have a solid consistent jumper all year, and he must drive to the hole consistently in order for NY to have a balanced attack, and most importantly for Ray to keep his job. PG’s are what drive teams deep into the playoffs. Yes, Melo is our leader, but the Knicks are looking for a number two and three option. We all know that J.R. wants to be that option, FELTON-articleInlinehowever J.R.’s performance in the playoffs last year made me realize that the Knicks can’t solely rely on Smith in 13/14. Ray needs to step up, be that leader and either the 2 or 3 option for the Knicks to top what they did last year.

Raymond Felton needs to be a leader on and off the court, in the locker room, and in huddles. Furthermore, he must be vocal during timeout’s, and with the ball in his hands; he needs to be the voice. MOST IMPORTANTLY, make sure the ball MOVES. A flowing offense is the only way the Knicks will win their division again and get out of the 2nd round this year.

Raymond’s first stint in NY he averaged 17 points and 9 assists. This is the kind of play the Knicks need for them to advance and be a legitimate contender. With many option on this team, there is none better to take that next step than Raymond Felton. It is time for Ray to step up and be a leader.

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