Throughout the 2012-2013 season, we have seen the New York Knicks mired by injuries. Torn ACL’s, sore backs, plantar fasciitis, “sore” feet, knee debridement’s, hyper extended knees, lacerated fingers, and flu-like symptoms just about sums up the Knicks’ various ailments. Fortunately, this Knicks team is one of the rare units in our history that has the depth, talent, and the will to win to persevere and continuously find ways to come up with victories. As we approach the midway point in the season, key players are returning to help the team and show the fans just how scary the Knicks can be when (if) they return to full strength. Amar’e and Shump are finally back and they are already starting to prove their worth and show what they can provide to the team. With Felton and Camby expected back in the relatively near future, we may finally be able to see just how good our team truly is. Unfortunately, substantial minutes cannot be handed out to everyone and as players prepare for their returns, others will prepare for extended stays on the bench.
One player who is expected to struggle to find playing time is the 27 year old shooting guard/small forward Ronnie Brewer. Brewer was originally signed to a veteran’s minimum deal to fill in until Iman Shumpert was ready to return. Well, Iman’s back and it’s not like Brewer’s recent play has earned him the opportunity to stay in the rotation. Over the past 2 months, Brewer has shot the ball terribly and his defense has not necessarily lived up to the hype when the Knicks supposedly signed a “defensive stopper”. However, Brewer should be cut a little slack since it is possible that his off-season knee surgery is still affecting him. As evidence to my theory, we have not seen the high flyer pull off any spectacular displays of athleticism the whole season. Between the return of Iman Shumpert and the logjam at the SG and SF positions between Shump, Brewer, Kidd, Copeland, Smith, and Novak, Brewer will have his work cut out for him as he tries to fight his way back into the rotation.
The New York Knicks have been eagerly awaiting the return of Rasheed Wallace ever since he sustained a “sore” foot about a month ago. Some rumors are flying around that he could miss the rest of the season despite the fact that Wallace claims we will see him again at some point before the season ends. Hopefully, Wallace is right and he does return this season, but if he does not return some Knicks executives are pushing for Grunwald to bring in free agent Kenyon Martin. K-Mart would probably perform just as well as Wallace did in the early parts of the season; however, I am not sure that anyone else in the NBA can provide the communication and instruction that Wallace utilizes when he is on the floor defensively. In addition to Wallace’s hopeful return, Marcus Camby is set to rejoin the active roster within the next several weeks and those 2 big men can provide this Knicks team with the rebounding, shot blocking, and interior defense that they have been lacking throughout the year. Combine Sheed and Camby with Amar’e Stoudemire and his offensive game and you have quite the formidable tandem of reserve big men. All these 7 footers can also help spell Tyson Chandler and keep him fresh for the playoffs.
As usual with every Knicks season, the Knicks are experiencing a fair share of problems that need to be solved. However, this season is different. This year they have the best kind of problem any team could have, too much talent. It will interesting to see how Coach Woodson decides to divide minutes between the Knicks’ plethora of talented players, but I trust that he will make the correct decisions. Woody has stated before that he does not have an agenda on how many minutes each guy is supposed to play and that ultimately, minutes will be shared based on who Woodson thinks will help the Knicks win each game. Winning games is truly all that matters.