With the renovation of Madison Square Garden yet to be completed, the Knicks will be forced to take their entire 2012 preseason on the road. Although this may not sit well with the players, and may make the traveling secretary’s job a little harder, with the Knicks recent struggles on the road, this schedule is a great opportunity for the Knicks to finally solvethis essential piece of the championship puzzle.
The Knicks were a mediocre 14-19 on the road last season. This record makes sense when you look at the road statistics, which illustrate that they were scoring about 4 points less. This diminished point production can easily be correlated with the 2.5 rebounds and one less steal they produced in games outside the friendly Garden confines.
The one solace Knicks fans may take from last season was the fact that they were not alone in their sub 500 road record. All other teams in their division also held poor road records with division leader Boston only registering a 15-18record; while play-off participant Philadelphia, was only slightly better off at 16-17.
What this means, is that the work the Knicks put into the preseason to improve their ability to steal games on the road may equate to them improving their regular season road record. This issue may, like in years past, come down to the depth of Knicks roster as compared to their fiercest rival.
Currently the Celtics average age per starter, if they intend to start Brendon Bass and Jason Collins (because they really don’t have another center) are in the lineup, is 31.2 years of age. In contrast, the Knicks’ starters will be averaging 28 years of age (if Felton starts over Jason Kidd).
Further, with the expected contributions of Kidd, Marcus Camby and many others, it appears that the Knicks hold a substantial advantage over the Celtics both in the quality of their starters and in their bench (especially since Fab Melo can’t hit a shot outside 4 feet).
So once again, it appears that the Knicks have the on-paper advantage to finally hurdle over the Celtics in the Atlantic Division. This of course is all well and good right up until the ball is tipped in the first regular season game and all the analysis is thrown out the window in exchange for execution, afactor that the Celtics have dominated the Knicks in.
There is no substitute for game-like scenarios to get an idea of what this year’s Knicks roster is truly made of. With the Knicks being forced to perform in places like Uniondale, Montreal and Hartford, the Knicks feet will be placed into the fire early and often. I know I will enjoy the heat, and so should all the Knicks faithful, as this preseason allows the Knicks to reverse its culture on the roadin their effort to prove to all the haters that the they will beas ready as everfor the commencement of the 2012-2013 NBA season.
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