March 28, 2023

The New York Knicks 2015-16 Season Outlook

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony Photo Credit: Alexis Williams/What's The 411 Networks

If the Knicks are to enjoy any success this season as overachievers, Carmelo Anthony has to be the star of the show

If you are a New York Knicks fan, there is no point in looking into the past. A brand new season is upon us. It’s a clean slate; and last season was one of the worst seasons in franchise history. As hard as it is to gain any sense of optimism regarding the Knicks chances this season, there’s actually a good reason why you should invest your precious time. Phil Jackson, the Knicks president struck out when it came to the top free agents like LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Monroe but what he did do was put together a team full of solid players who can play in the triangle offense.

Robin Lopez signed on for four years and $54-million. Kyle O’Quinn was acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Orlando Magic. Former Laker and Jackson disciple, Sasha Vujacic, a sharp shooter, provides the Knicks with a legitimate deep threat. Aaron Afflalo, a former teammate of Carmelo Anthony will start at the two. And other signees like Kevin Seraphin, Derrick Williams, draft picks: Kristaps Porzingis (4th overall), Jerian Grant (19th overall, traded to Knicks), Louis Amundson and Lance Thomas round out the offseason moves.

Anything done with the mindset of improving the team from last year should be commended and regarding the Knicks, they definitely improved. They got bigger, tougher, added some perimeter scoring and most importantly brought in players who they believe can be system players.

Although preseason doesn’t mean much, the new personnel showed signs of what to expect this season. Williams looked like an early candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year award. Melo was in mid-season form after enduring left knee surgery in February, which kept him off the court following the All-Star break. And for a change, the Knicks actually showed some life on the defensive end of the floor.

They looked energized, collecting steals and plenty of blocks, highlighting the athletic ability of Williams and the length of Porzingis, which will be a strength for the Knicks this season. In addition to Williams, Lopez was acquired primarily to anchor the Knicks on the defensive end along with Seraphin and O’Quinn, so the Knicks should be able to prevent teams from dominating on offense in the post.

Like the defense, the bench should also be a plus this season. Williams sports the kind of game that can lead the 2nd unit on offense. Rookie, Grant is a four-year collegiate athlete who does a great job penetrating the lane to make plays for himself and others. Langston Galloway, who plays on both ends, feels like he has a chip on his shoulder, going undrafted last year out of St. Joe’s and Cleanthony Early is looking to enjoy a better sophomore campaign.

The Knicks bench probably won’t lead the league in bench scoring, but you can bet that they will defend and provide a much-needed spark transitioning from the starters. And most importantly, they are young. There’s a lot to like with this Knicks team and in the bright spots that reflect the 2015-16 version of the Knicks, there are also many questions.

Questions surrounding Porzingis and how well he plays in his first season in the association will arise. Porzingis will play the most basketball he has ever played in his life and will matchup with the cream-of-the-crop in big men on a nightly basis. Can he handle it? Since he was drafted, Porzingis has spent this summer getting stronger, adding 11 pounds of muscle to his wiry frame to be able to bang down low with a game that represents Euro basketball well. According to multiple sources, Porzingis has spent significant time working on his back to the basket game after practice. But like every rookie, Porzingis, as talented as he is as a 7-footer, will experience some growing pains and how he handles adversity will be essential to his development.

Is Melo completely healthy? If the Knicks are to enjoy any success this season as overachievers, Melo has to be the star of the show like he is paid to be. Melo has to put this team on his back and be a reliable source of points whenever the Knicks need it, especially in the fourth quarter. Although Melo has to lead this team in scoring, he does have to be a model citizen as the leader of this group and with scoring, prioritize moving the ball and playing defense for the best possible outcome.

Can Derek Fisher coach and will the Knicks remain healthy are other questions that the orange and blue must answer this season if they plan to qualify for the playoffs. The Knicks will take on the Milwaukee Bucks in its season opener and it seems like health is already an issue.

Afflalo will miss the season opener due to a strained left hamstring, joined by Amundson (sore lower back) and Seraphin (sore right knee).

Not too long ago, Melo compared this Knicks team to the New York Mets who are currently in the World Series against the Kansas City Royals. Melo sees comparisons in how his Knicks and the Mets had to rebuild and craft a team that can win at a high level. Unfortunately for Melo and co. the Knicks aren’t World Series ready, but the 8th seed is definitely within reach.

Gregory Alcala

Gregory Alcala is a reporter for What's The 411Sports, a weekly sports news and commentary television show. He is What's The 411Sports' primary reporter covering the Brooklyn Nets. Greg is very passionate about sports and welcomes the challenge of speaking about a variety of sports including his main interest in professional basketball and baseball. 

Greg gained his initial career experience at St. Francis College, as one of the founding members of the Terriers Sports Network (TSN). He is responsible for shooting live sporting events, reporting news for packages and broadcast production duties. Additionally, Greg maintains his own sports blog entitled, "Sports N' Thoughts," where he develops sports related articles and posts video content for public consumption.

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