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Monday, September 30, 2013
Opening Tip: Can Knicks take next step?

By Ian Begley

Amar'e Stoudemire
Which direction are Amar'e Stoudemire and the Knicks headed this season? We'll begin to find out.
NEW YORK -- Monday is media day at the Knicks training facility.

That means at some point on Monday afternoon, the Knicks GM, coach and players will be available to talk about the upcoming season. There's plenty of ground to cover. Between Carmelo Anthony's opt-out, to Mike Woodson's job security and the health of Amar'e Stoudemire's knees, the Knicks never lack for storylines.

But no matter what is said and what is revealed, the only thing that matters is this: Will the Knicks be good enough this season to make the Eastern Conference finals?

Sure, every team's goal at the beginning of the season is to win an NBA title. But in order for this Knicks team to stay together past this season, it needs to show progress in the playoffs.

If the Knicks can make it to the conference championship, maybe management will be inclined to pick up Woodson's option next season. Maybe Anthony will decide to stay in New York.

But getting that far is a big if. As we all know, Chicago has Derrick Rose coming back, so they should be better this season than they were last season. Indiana added Luis Scola and a healthy Danny Granger. And the Nets added Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. So the path to the Eastern Conference finals won't be an easy one.

That's brings us to today's question: Based on what the team did this offseason, do you think the Knicks can take the next step toward a title this season?

UP NOW: We have every angle of training camp covered. Here is our camp primer, with five issues facing the Knicks heading into camp. Here are our position previews: PG, SG, SF and PF, C. And here are our offseason grades.

WHAT'S NEXT: Ohm Youngmisuk and I will have you covered from Knicks media day. You can expect updates on the plans for Stoudemire this season, comments from Carmelo on his contract situation and insights into Woodson's lineup.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you think the Knicks can take the next step toward a title this season?

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