On October 15, 2012, Ian Thomsen of SI.com wrote that the New York Knicks would win the Atlantic Division. I respect Thomsen as a writer, but I have to disagree with him on this and a few other points in his article.
The Knicks are a better and deeper team this year. But they've added so many new faces to the mix. Three of these new additions are at the critical point guard position. Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni now have the challenging task of running the Knicks' dysfunctional (at times) offense.
The Knicks are now the oldest team in NBA history. That doesn't sound like a recipe for success. And it could cause issues with injuries, stamina and recovery. Backup forward Kurt Thomas is 40 years old. Can he really chase Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh up and down the court?
The season hasn't even started, and a few Knicks are already sidelined with injuries. Amar'e Stoudemire missed both preseason games with a bruised knee. But he is expected to play in the next one. Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith is out with an Achilles injury. And nobody knows when center Marcus Camby will be back from a strained calf.
Then there's the Brooklyn factor. The Brooklyn Nets will open their new arena against the Knicks. Thus, the battle for New York will officially begin. The Nets added star forward Joe Johnson to the mix, so they will be much improved this season. The Knicks-Nets rivalry will be more intense this season.
Finally, we cannot discount the Boston Celtics. Thomsen picked the Celtics to finish third behind the Knicks and Nets. That is a bold prediction. The Celtics finished first in the Atlantic Division last season. They still have Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. These three are all-star caliber players who play well together. Don't count out the Celtics. In fact, I pick them to win the division.
I think the Knicks are certainly capable of winning the Atlantic Division. But that will depend on how well and how quickly the players come together. The Knicks will have to adjust to several new faces. And they will have to stay healthy. But all teams need to do that.
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Edwin Torres was born in New York City. He has been a Knicks fan since the early 1980s. He has visited Madison Square Garden on many occasions to watch the Knicks and his favorite player, Patrick Ewing. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.