Sunday, September 29, 2013
Knicks centers breakdown
By Ian Begley
Tyson Chandler's health and production are crucial to the Knicks' success this season.
NEW YORK -- Training camp kicks off Tuesday. To get ready, we are taking a position-by-position look at the New York Knicks' roster. We'll have a new position breakdown on the blog each day for the rest of the week. Here's our analysis of the team's point guards, shooting guards, small forwards and power forwards. Today, we examine the centers.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the Knicks' centers in the comments section below.
What's new? Not much. One of the missing pieces to this Knicks' roster heading into the offseason was a young big man who could score, rebound and defend. New York didn't add a proven player to address that issue over the summer.
The Knicks may have found a bargain in young big men Jeremy Tyler and Cole Aldrich. But neither has proven he can be consistently effective in the NBA.
Tyler had a strong showing in Summer League. But the 6-foot-10, 22-year-old cracked a bone in his right foot that needed to be surgically repaired. He will likely miss all of training camp, which could impact his chances of making the roster.
Aldirch worked out for the Knicks a couple times in September and was signed shortly before camp.
The former Kansas standout was drafted 10th overall in 2010 but has been traded three times since, raising questions about his ability.
So the one player the Knicks can count on to play behind Tyson Chandler is Kenyon Martin. Martin is undersized at center but proved last season that he could handle the position when Chandler was out with a neck ailment.
How will it all fit? The Knicks need one of the two young big men they signed in training camp to pan out. Chandler's health was an issue late in the regular season and in the postseason.
He also struggled with his conditioning and timing early in the playoffs after missing 16 of the Knicks' final 20 regular-season games due to a neck injury. Having Chandler not at 100 percent during the Indiana series really hurt the Knicks.
So the team would be wise to limit Chandler's minutes as much as possible during the regular season. The 31-year-old is New York's second most important player behind Carmelo Anthony. Because New York has so many sub-par defenders, Chandler's health and production are crucial to the team's success.
So the Knicks could use either Aldrich or Tyler as insurance for Chandler. The coaching staff probably isn't too comfortable putting either Bargnani or Stoudmire at center without an experienced defender by their side. So they'd prefer if Tyler or Aldrich turns into a consistent contributor. Training camp invites Ike Diogu and Josh Powell are also candidates to help in this area, but are a bit undersized to guard traditional 5.
Question: How do you feel about the Knicks' center situation going into this season?