New York Knicks May 2013The New York Knicks' 2012-2013 campaign was the best season the team has had in the past 13 years. This year was the first time the Knicks had won a playoff series since the 1999-2000 season. It was the first time the Knicks had won the Atlantic Division since the year I was born, 1993.

Carmelo Anthony finished third in the MVP voting. J.R. Smith won the NBA’s Sixth Man of Year Award. Tyson Chandler was named to the NBA’s All Defensive First Team. But I’m here to tell you that this Knicks team is a lost cause.

Let’s start off with their roster. Almost all of the Knicks that received serious playing time this year are still under contract for next season. The players that are scheduled to be free agents this summer are: Kurt Thomas, James White, Chris Copeland, Kenyon Martin, Quentin Richardson and Solomon Jones.

J.R. Smith has a player option for next season, but after him, almost everyone in the Knicks rotation is under contract for two more seasons. The Knicks payroll was almost $80 million this season, and if all their free agents leave and they don’t sign anyone, their payroll next season will be over $76 million. That’s only about a $4 million difference, so that’s not a lot of cap space to work with.

When you look at the Knicks roster, it seems like almost every player has reached their maximum potential already.

Can Carmelo get any better? He finished third in the MVP voting this season; how much better can he get? Can J.R. Smith improve? He can become a more consistent shooter, but he won the award for best bench player in the league, so how much more can you expect from him?

J.R. Smith May 2013

Amar'e Stoudemire hasn’t be healthy in two years, so who knows what he can do anymore. Raymond Felton had a solid year, but can he get better? I’d ask the same question about Chandler and Pablo Prigioni too.

The only player on the Knicks roster who I think can really improve his game is Iman Shumpert. He has all the talent in the world. If he can smooth out his game and develop a solid three-point jump shot, he’ll be a very good player for New York.

Knicks head coach Mike Woodson finished third in the Coach of the Year award polls, but he is not the right coach for this team. Since his days in Atlanta, Woodson has always played an isolation style of offense. This offensive-style kills the Knicks. It allows opposing teams to set up their defense and focus in on the player with the ball.

When the ball gets swung from wing-to-wing, the defense has to shift, which opens up driving lanes and holes in the D. The Knicks rarely swung the ball this year, as they finished dead-last in the NBA in assists per game this season (19.3). Because of the lack of ball movement, teams were able to set their defense up and focus in on stopping Melo.

If the Knicks moved the ball around more, especially against the Indiana Pacers, they would have been able to get a lot more easy buckets. So when you look at the Knicks and think about their team next season, you see almost the same team they put on the court this year. I don’t think they can get much better. Almost all of their players have already reached their full potentials.

They are a jump-shooting team that shot the ball great during the regular season. What happens if they don’t shoot as well next season? Can they win 50 games next year if they don’t shoot great? I’m not sure.

Other teams in the Eastern Conference are going to improve this offseason. The Chicago Bulls will have Derrick Rose next season, the Pacers aren’t getting any worse, the Miami Heat still have LeBron James and the Brooklyn Nets have a bunch of young players that can improve.

The Knicks have a talented roster, but it’s not a championship roster, and it’s the same roster they are going to be stuck with for the next two or three years.

Looking at this team, they're pretty much a lost cause.


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