The Knicks haven’t shown any signs of a team struggling to deal with injuries. On the way to a 3-0 start that has New York as the league’s lone remaining undefeated team, the Knicks have allowed an NBA-best 85.3 points per game, and have shown similar success on the defensive end even when adjusting for pace, where New York is third-best in the league at allowing just 93 points per 100 possessions.
Defense is not an area that needs improving right now, which makes the impending return of veteran center Marcus Camby that much sweeter.
Camby is expected to make his season debut for the Knicks on Friday when the team hosts the Dallas Mavericks, reports Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com:
“I can’t give you the minutes (Camby will play against Dallas), but he’ll play tomorrow, absolutely,” [Knicks head coach Mike Woodson] said.
So how much can he play on Friday?
“Whatever is needed of me,” Camby said. “They haven’t needed me the first three ballgames, so I just want to come in here and add to what we’ve already been building.”
Camby will be added depth for New York’s front line, and can provide more solid minutes than Kurt Thomas has in his limited role in the team’s first three games of the season. In addition, he can be a legitimate backup for Tyson Chandler, especially defensively, as the season drags on and the team faces opponents who will pose more of of an offensive challenge.
One area where Camby can help immediately is with rebounding, a specialty of his and a problem thus far for the Knicks. Advanced numbers have New York near the bottom of the league in rebound rate, and even by the most basic count of rebounds per game, the Knicks rank just 21st overall. Camby has a career average of almost 10 per game.