Despite what some people on the island of Manhattan believed, the deal to get Carmelo Anthony was not a steal. This wasn’t purchasing Manhattan itself from the Native American Lenape people for trinkets.
The Knicks are not coming together as fast as expected, and part of the reason is there is no depth around the stars, Howard Beck reminds us at the New York Times. Depth that was traded away to get ‘Melo (and something most Knicks fans were good with at the time).
The Knicks are top-heavy, with Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups headlining an otherwise woeful roster. They lack a legitimate starting center. Their starting off-guard, Landry Fields, would be a reserve on most teams. Among the reserves, only Toney Douglas is a reliable producer. They have no 7-footers, no shot-blockers and no perimeter stoppers. The tallest Knick, Jeffries (6 feet 11 inches), is one of the N.B.A.’s least productive players. He has started 8 of the last 11 games.
“I just think they’re flawed,” said an Eastern Conference scout who has watched the Knicks several times since the trade….
“You have no depth,” he said. “You’ve got five good starters and a sixth man in Toney Douglas and who is the next guy? Jared Jeffries is your next-best player?”
Jeffries couldn’t get off the bench in Houston but is getting pretty good run with the Knicks. Not a good sign.
That lack of depth will haunt them in the playoffs. Well, that and the lack of good defenders. The playoffs are all about matchups and depth of the kind seen in Boston and Chicago — one of those two may well end up the Knicks opponent in the first round — allows a coach to adjust the matchups. Mike D’Antoni will enter the playoffs with few options beyond his three stars.
Who are not meshing well right now. But that is a different problem.