SPANISH HARLEM – The New York Knicks beat the Detroit Pistons to remain undefeated in the preseason heading into their last game on Friday. I know, I know… it’s the preseason and you shouldn’t get too excited (I’m not). But with the new additions, you want to see how they function with the guys and how quickly they jell before the season starts next Wednesday. I will add in a couple of individuals that caught my eye for obvious reasons and how they play together as a whole.
We knew that by signing Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, the offense would be better but the question was how much better? Walker was rested last night but I still got to see a good amount in the two games he started. From the get-go, the ball is moving a lot more and the spacing is tons better. At times, last season, the Knicks didn’t have enough shooting on the floor but that doesn’t seem to be the case now. That allows the ball to move better because the defense won’t be able to key on Julius Randle. There is no question who the primary scorer is but now they have more fire power around him when other teams take that option away.
Reggie Bullock was a great player for this team last season but you can see what Fournier provides and how he helps the offense. He is a guy that can move with or without the ball and adds another player that can run the pick & roll. That is important because the more guys you have to run offensive plays, the harder it is for defenses to game plan. They have 5 starters that can all lead the team in scoring on any given night. When you add the depth and bench this team has, they will score a lot more points.
It is expected that the defense will take a hit because both Walker and Fournier aren’t considered great defensive players. Knowing Tom Thibodeau, though, they will bring enough energy and he will make adjustments when need be. I haven’t seen much of a difference when it comes to effort but we won’t really know the true extent until the season starts, as teams will focus more at their weak spots. Walker has been someone that other teams took advantage of and I fully expect that to happen again. Fournier isn’t as bad as Walker but he is a downgrade compared to Bullock on that side of the ball. It’s great to have individual defenders but team defense is as important. They may not be as good as they were last season but don’t expect them to suck on defense. Thibs won’t let that happen.
That’s for now, come back tomorrow for Different Matt.
Until next time…