Training camp is upon us! With each passing day excitement is growing among NBA fans for the start of a new season.
The New York Knicks start training camp in the coming weeks, followed by their first preseason game October 9th. Fans will be watching throughout training camp and the preseason to see how the new Knicks’ acquisitions are adjusting. It will be interesting to see who coach, Mike Woodson, decides to start and who he’ll bring off the bench.
As the Knicks go into training camp they will look to fill out the 15-man roster. The Knicks currently have 16 players under contract, 12 of whom are signed to guaranteed contracts. This means there are four guys fighting for three spots.
In the past week, the Knicks have worked out free agents who could potentially be invited to camp. These free agents include veteran guard Ricky Davis, centers Cole Aldrich and DeSagana Diop, and forward Josh Powell.
The Knicks desperately need a center to back up Tyson Chandler. This was evident in the Knicks’ second round playoff loss to the Pacers last season. Chandler was vastly outplayed by Roy Hibbert. The Pacers dominated the boards the entire series, outrebounding the Knicks 272-220. The Knicks’ lack of depth at the center position forced them to turn to the 6-foot-9 Kenyon Martin to defend the 7-foot-2 Hibbert.
The Knicks also struggled against bigger teams during the regular season as well. The Knicks lost all 4 regular season games to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls frontline, headed by All-Star center Joakim Noah, gave the Knicks problems.
The Knicks signed 6-foot-10 Jeremy Tyler to bolster front line depth, but he will miss training camp as he recovers from surgery to repair a break in his right metatarsal. However, Tyler’s ability defend the top centers in the league is questionable. If the Knicks want to avoid struggling against taller teams this season, they need a reliable backup center.
Training camp will be very important for the Knicks. They have a lot of new players that need to get adjusted to Woodson’s system. The Knicks know what they will get out of players like Carmelo Anthony. Training camp will allow the coaching staff to assess what the new players can contribute.
Will the Knicks be able to find another diamond in the rough as they did with Chris Copeland last season? That remains to be seen, but that player could end up being the difference in the Knicks advancing in the playoffs or making another early exit.