With World Peace Signed Should The Knicks Keep ‘Melo at The 4?

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With World Peace now in New York, would Carmelo Anthony be better off playing as a power forward?

With Metta World Peace heading to the Big Apple, the big question is whether or not New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson will keep superstar Carmelo Anthony at the four?

For the majority of the minutes Anthony played last season, he was at the four an excelled by averaging 28.7 ppg, 2.6 apg, and 6.9 rpg on his way to his first scoring title in his career.

World Peace brings a solid three point shot while Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, and Anthony can all hit a perimeter shot and drive to the basket. With Tyson Chandler lurking in the paint for much of the time on offense it is important that World Peace stays on the perimeter as it would balance out the Knicks on the offensive end.

The newest Knick averaged 12.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.6 spg, 1.5 apg, while shooting 40 percent from the field and 34 percent from behind the arc last season with the Lakers.

On the defensive end, Metta World Peace is high energy and he brings a defensive tenacity at the three, which is something the Knicks have lacked for a while now.

Keeping Melo at the four on the defensive end would most likely not give him the biggest advantage on the boards but speed wise, Anthony would limit the looks the player he’s guarding gets as he would be able to recover from minimal mistakes.

Having Shumpert, World Peace, and Chandler on the defensive end would allow for the Knicks to have three lockdown defenders that can contribute on both ends of the floor unlike players such as Tony Allen or Dahntay Jones who the Knicks were rumored to be looking into at the start of free agency.

Adding World Peace adds lockdown defense, a solid three point shot, and a veteran presence that can help the Knicks develop younger players as better defenders. Keeping Anthony at the four would be a smart move for the Knicks as it would allow for him to focus on his scoring ability. It will also allow World Peace to man the three spot to space the floor on the offensive end of the floor and take advantage on the defensive end of the game to limit high scoring threes such as LeBron James, or Kevin Durant.

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Make Or Break Season For Many Players

This is going to be a make or break time for Tuck if he wants to continue playing as a Giant.
This is going to be a make or break time for Tuck if he wants to continue playing as a Giant.

The upcoming season for the New York football Giants is a make or break season for many players.  Some are young, but are always injured and need to stay on the field. Others are seasoned veterans who are in contract years and need to show that they still have some football left in them.  Below is a list of five players who need to have a productive season if they want to stay with the Giants long term.

1. CB Terell Thomas

Terell Thomas has an interesting story. In 2010 he was our best CB who looked as if he was on the brink of becoming one of the better corners in the entire league. The following preseason in a game against the Chicago Bears he tore his ACL which had him sidelined the entire 2011 season and Super Bowl run. He was poised to come back in 2012 when in training camp he injured the same ACL which sidelined him for the entire 2012 campaign. In order for Thomas to make an impact for the Giants he first needs to be able to get onto the field and that has been a problem for him the past few seasons. I think that if he can get on the field he will make an impact and give our defensive backfield solid depth. However, how productive can someone who has had 3 torn ACLs (one in college, two with the Giants) be? Only time will tell.

2. DE Justin Tuck

It is no question that Tuck’s production over the past two seasons has been mediocre at best. He has a combined nine regular season sacks and his only good stretch of play was during the 2011 Super Bowl run and he has at times looked like he does not want to be out on the field. Tuck says he is hungry to win and he thinks he has at least five more years left in the tank. In his contract year, he needs to step up his game or this could very well be his last season in blue.

3. CB Corey Webster

Corey Webster’s play in 2012 was sub-par and he looked like a shell of his old self. At times it seemed as if the Giants only had ten people playing defense because of him.  He could not guard the deep ball to save his life and I constantly found myself questioning how he was the best CB on our team during our Super Bowl run in 2011. He was forced to take a pay cut this offseason to remain with the Giants and in his contract year, he has to prove that he can still play football at a high level or his days in a Giants uniform are numbered. I believe that Webster will have a rebound year and contribute greatly to the Giants this season.

4. DT Marvin Austin

Marvin Austin has seen little of the field in his two seasons with the Giants but the second round pick is on the brink of being cut if his injury woes continue. Austin spent his final season of college football injured and his rookie season he was injured. In 2012 it was his first time playing football since 2009. When he did see the field (he was only active for eight games) his play was poor and his snaps were limited. Even worse for Austin, the Giants have eight DT’s on the roster heading into training camp, and there is a chance the Giants decide to part ways with him prior to the regular season even beginning. I don’t think that is a likely possibility, but the Giants will need to deeply evaluate the situation to see if he is worth keeping.

5. OT/OG David Diehl

Since David Diehl has come into the league in 2003, he has always been a staple on our offensive line. He played in every game in his first seven seasons and we have seen him play three different offensive line positions. He has always been a solid player for the team. But last season he slowed down a bit. He lost his starting job to Sean Locklear but later gained it back after Locklear had a lower body injury. With the Giants using their first round draft pick on OL Justin Pugh (who can play any position on the offensive line) and with the emergence of OT James Brewer, Diehl’s time in New York may be dwindling down. He needs to show that he still has some left in the tank in order to be with the team long term.

Projecting the starters: Linebacker Edition

Jacquian Williams could have a chance to be a starter come next season.
Jacquian Williams could have a chance to be a starter come next season.

Coming off of a disappointing 2013 campaign, the Giants Linebacking core will feature new faces at almost every position

Strong-side linebacker
2013 starter: Keith Rivers
Acquisition: Aaron Curry (Via free agency)

Keith Rivers started 11 games last season and although that isn’t an outstanding number, he was a solid when he was in the game. That’s just the problem, Rivers has yet to live up to his expectations after being drafted eighth overall in the 2008 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Rivers saw limited time in games because of a lingering hamstring injury. The Giants made a splash in the off season by signing former Raider Aaron Curry who has also yet to play up to expectations. While Curry is working to revive his career with the Giants, he’s a long shot to beat out Rivers for the starting job.

Projected Starter: Keith Rivers

Middle Linebacker
2013 starter: Chase Blackburn
Acquisition: Dan Connor (Via free agency)

With the departure of Chase Blackburn to Carolina, the Giants MLB position is presumably up for grabs. The Giants signed the former Cowboy Dan Connor to compete with Mark Herzlich for the starting job. Fans saw there first real glimpses of Herzlich last season when Chase Blackburn missed time with an injury and didn’t preform the way he was expected to. Connor is great at stopping the run but due to his lack of speed isn’t great in coverage.

Projected starter: Mark Herzlich

Weak-side linebacker
2013 starter: Mathias Kiwanuka
Acquisition: N/A

Mathias Kiwanuka was one of the most durable players on the Giants defense in 2012 (starting all 16 games) Kiwanuka did a decent job at WLB for the Giants, but will be moving back to his natural position at defensive end. Enter Jacquian Williams. The 2011 sixth-round pick has yet to see legitimate reps at WLB with Kiwanuka starting all sixteen games for the past two season. He has the measurable a and the athletic ability to become a very solid linebacker for the Giants.

Projected starter: Jacquian Williams

Projecting Mason Plumlee’s Rookie Season

Brooklyn Nets rookie big man, Mason Plumlee
Brooklyn Nets rookie big man, Mason Plumlee

The Nets picked up a huge asset to help with depth off their already stacked bench. Mason Plumlee is one of the biggest steals of the 2013 NBA draft and it looks like he may be in store for a big season in Brooklyn.

Mason Plumlee was a key contributor to Dukes 2013 NCAA Tournament Final 4 and he was a key piece of the team during the regular season as he averaged 17.1 ppg, 10.0 rpg, and 1.9 apg while shooting 59% from the field. Plumlee was the main man when Ryan Kelly went down with an injury that kept him out for much of the regular season.

Plumlee should be able to see a good amount of minutes as the only real front court depth besides himself is Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans.

Plumlee is going to find himself on a team, which has now acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett who will be playing alongside Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez with Jason Terry, Andray Blatche, Reggie Evans, and Andrei Kirlenko all on the bench. To sum it up, the Nets are NBA Championship contenders so Plumlee will be placed in an atmoshere where excellence is required if he wants to play big minutes.

One thing, which Plumlee may struggle to cope with is the fact that he is going to find himself downgraded from star to role player, which he may struggle to cope with since he’s been a star at Duke for as long as many can remember.

Plumlee projects to be an offensive threat and could find his minutes crawling up if he continues to play fundamental basketball and I project his stat line to be: 18 MPG, 10.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.1 APG, while shooting 54% from the field.

The key for Plumlee will be his free throw shooting.

Plumlee only shot 68% from the charity stripe last season and the best way to earn more minutes for a team when your coming out of college is to score so if he is able to rack up easy baskets from the charity stripe then he may get a few more look ins, which could lead to an increase in minutes.

Projecting Tim Hardaway Jr’s Rookie Season

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The Knicks rookie wing, Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tim Hardaway Jr. could be a huge asset to the New York Knicks’ second unit next season.

In Hardaway’s junior season at Michigan he averaged 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists per game, while shooting a solid 37 percent from behind the arc.

He will most likely fit into the second unit alongside J.R. Smith and Amar’e Stoudemire so he will be learning the ropes from some experienced and talented players and after watching him succeed at Michigan like he did last season.

Based on his skill set, it seems that Hardaway can be as good as he wants to be.

Stuck behind Iman Shumpert and Smith at the 2-guard spot, he will have to fight for every minute he’ll play for the Knicks next season.

Hardaway has explosiveness attacking the rim, which lets him shoot over traffic. The key for Hardaway Jr. in his rookie season is that he takes outside shots, which the Knicks point guards should be able to create for him instead of him having to create on his own.

This will allow for Hardaway Jr. to learn to take better shots. Hardaway should also look to help expand the Knicks’ game by making occasional drives to the buckets to try and keep to opposition guessing.

Currently Hardaway projects to be an offensive threat and could be a great wing reserve for the Knicks this season, but if he works on his dribbling and his footwork he should be able to grab more minutes and should what he’s capable of doing properly, which is why I’m projecting his stat line to be: 15 MPG, 10.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, while shooting 39 percent from behind the arc, and 46 percent from the field.

The key for Hardaway next season will be his shot selection.

Hardaway was infamous for his poor shot selection at Michigan and if he is able to fix that problem then the Knicks will benefit greatly but all in all the Knicks made the right decision drafting him and this decision should payoff in the long run.

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