Because this is a team that make some very big moves in the offseason, and Love will no longer have to carry so much of the production burden.
Brando Roy and Andrei Kirilenko are on the team, and in case you forgot, both were All-Stars once upon a time. Nikola Pekovic is a beast at center. Alexei Shved runs a little hot and cold with his shooting, but he can play both guard positions. J.J. Berea was a starter in the 2011 NBA Finals, in case you forgot.
Also, there is a new backup behind Love — Dante Cunningham, who is one of the better players you’ve probably never heard of because he has spent his career in Charlotte and Memphis to date. The Wolves got him from the Grizzlies in a trade for Wayne Ellington, who spent two years showing he was not the shooter he was hyped up to be.
But enough about one bad team and one bubble team.
We also discuss the Knicks in this CineSport video with Noah Coslov, and I am very high on them this season. If you want to build a team that can beat the Heat, you need a defensive presence at the rim and guys who can rebound. Tyson Chandler and Marcus Camby can do that. You also need a leader who has been to the NBA Finals multiple times, and Jason Kidd provides that. You also need 3-point shooters, and the Knicks have three very good ones in Steve Novak, J.R. Smith and Kidd. You also need backup bangers, and Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace provide that.
Can New York win the tough Atlantic Division?
Yes, I believe they can — especially with Andrew Bynum making a slow recovery from his offseason knee treatment. If I had to pick the order of finish today, I’d make it: New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Toronto.
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