Earlier today, after a recent interview with NBA.com, Derrick Rose was quoted as saying, “With these teams right now, they’re saying us and Golden State are the super teams …” Derrick, buddy, I know you’re on a new team now and you want to do well and everything, but you can’t be saying this Knicks’ roster is a super team. You’d be more correct saying this is a “Super Injured Team.” If this was 2011-2012 then you can make an argument, but it’s 2016 and there is no argument.
A starting lineup of Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and Joakim Noah is good on paper, but maybe not realistically. This team has the potential to be good and maybe even great, but this team also has the potential to be one of the worst in the NBA this season. Let me explain why.
This starting lineup has three players that can ruin this team’s chances of competing in the Eastern Conference due to previous injuries. I don’t have to explain Derrick Rose’s past with the injuries he’s suffered. Carmelo has had his fair share of injuries as well, missing 42 games just two years ago. He’s had nagging knee and ankle injuries in the past, and as he gets older they may keep coming back to haunt him. Joakim Noah only played 29 games last season, due to a shoulder injury.
Let’s say Derrick Rose gets injured again, and has to sit out a few games. Their backup point guard Brandon Jennings has only played 89 games the past two seasons combined due to achilles injuries. With that being said, Courtney Lee and Kristaps can’t bring this team to the promised land by themselves.
Now let’s say this team stays healthy throughout the season, maybe a couple missed games or two but nothing serious. This team has the potential to be good if not better. Derrick Rose had a mini comeback season last year, and if healthy can be a scoring threat. Carmelo is 32 years old but has consistently averaged at least 20 points per game his whole career. Joakim Noah came in 4th place in MVP voting just two years ago and is one of the best all-around centers in the league, if not the best. Brandon Jennings just came back from an achilles injury but has averaged 16 points per game in his career prior to the injury. Plus you add a sharpshooter in Courtney Lee and have Kristaps Porzingis, who’s looking to keep improving after an impressive rookie season.
This team has all the tools to compete in the Eastern Conference, but injuries could make this a long season for New York. Mentioning yourselves in the same sentence as Golden State is a little far-fetched; they won’t nearly be as great as the Warriors, but they can still be great. This will either be an exciting or miserable season for the Knicks; for the sake of competition let’s hope it isn’t the last one.