Can the Knicks
Win Every Game?
8/25/2016 by Dominic Hebert
The Vertical’s Nick DePaula posted a feature yesterday on Rose and his activities since being traded. He discusses his feelings on being traded, not wearing the number “1”, shoes, and more. He has been busy since heading to New York and is in the middle of a year-long court battle (trigger warning: discussion of sexual assault). There was an interesting quote in there that has since blown up, but isn’t necessarily outlandish. “I think we have a chance to win every game, and in this league that’s rare.”
On the surface, he’s not wrong. There is no game during the season in which one team has a 100% possibility of losing or winning. That’s just statistics, yet it strikes us as perplexing for the simple fact that they are not considered in the elite tier with Golden State, Cleveland, and San Antonio.
I’ve mentioned before how he believes the Knicks are a “superteam” (he stands by that) yet nobody on the current roster had a stellar 2015-16 season. The 2011 MVP played in 66 games (his most since that 2010-11 season) put up 16.4ppg, 3.4reb, and 4.7ast on 42.7% shooting perbasketball-reference.com. According to DePaula, he averaged 19.9ppg on 51.4% shooting after the All-Star break. This is a good sign for Knicks fans, but his injury history should give anyone pause. Playing with Carmelo, Porziņģis, and Noah under solid coach Jeff Hornacek could take some pressure off of him to return to his glory days and help transition his game into something that keeps him from being reckless.
On that note, the hiring of Hornacek was quite a surprise considering Phil Jackson prefers triangle-heavy coaches who will act as an extension of him. However, Jackson was impressed enough over a few meetings to offer the position to him. Perhaps he realized this roster is not constructed to do well with the triangle and is shifting away from it for the time being or perhaps Hornacek displayed some hidden expertise with the system and wrinkles that could make it work in New York.
Rose’s statement was not absurd in the sense that they could theoretically win every game, but realistically this is a team that may peak around 53 wins. Kristaps Porziņģis will need development and it will take time to build chemistry with new players and a new coach. Will the Knicks be better than last season? Yes. Will they be in the elite tier of the league? Likely not.
Read the full feature on Derrick Rose over at Yahoo! Sports.
Dominic Hebert is the Chief Sports Editor at CSuiteMusic