J.R. Smith’s championship talk
Knicks J.R. Smith isn’t shy at all about the goals for his team this upcoming season basically saying that it’s championship or bust in New York.
“In my eyes, yeah,” Smith said to NYPost.com over the weekend. “Whoever, Lakers, Heat, whoever. If we settle for anything less, we already start off losing.”
I’ve always had a mixed opinion of Smith. An extremely talented scorer and athlete, but has displayed attitude problems in the past and last season he fired up his shot too much. The fact that he’s the only player out here saying yes the Knicks will win a championship this year makes him golden in my book. I’m tired of people acting that speaking of the Knicks as a contender for the championship is taboo. Just because they had a bad season last year doesn’t mean that it will be a repeat this year.
NBA teams rise and fall all the time. Each year is a new chance for anyoneto win the ‘ship. The favorite doesn’t always win and that’s just sports. The Knicks happen to have a roster that is –on paper– one of the best in the league.
Carmelo Anthony is a top five scorer in the NBA and probably the best. Tyson Chandler is one of the best defensive rim-protecting centers in the league. The x-factor is the play of Amare Stoudemire, he could be a superstar or a role player.
‘STAT’ wasn’t himself last season, but showed improvement. For the Knicks to be a championship caliber contender then he has to bounce back and be as good as he’s ever been before. If New York gets ’09 Stoudemire then they will be a contender. The team is supposed to have two superstars, not one. Stoudemire’s $100 contract means that he needs to be more than a roleplayer. He needs to play like a star for those star dollars. Off the court, he needs to work on himself as well. From punching fire extinguisher glass to calling someone a gay slur in a twitter DM, he hasn’t left a real positive impression over the summer.
However, he put in the work with Hakeem Olajuwon and worked on his footwork and post moves. If Stoudemire can return to form this season then the Knicks will be well on their way to contender status.
Other than that, the backcourt is a bit of a question mark. If Raymond Felton comes to camp at playing weight and Jason Kidd has a little left in the tank then they are good at point guard. Smith and Ronnie Brewer will hold down the shooting guard spot until Iman Shumpert returns from injury. Smith is the offense, Brewer is the defense. It would be nice to combined the two into one player.
The fact is that there was a huge trade in the middle of the ’09-’10 season and no training camp with a short season last year and coaching change in the middle. For the first time in ’13 Stat and Melo will have no excuses playing together under Mike Woodson with a full camp.
Overall I believe the Knicks have as good of a shot at a championship as anyone else. I felt that last season and I was proven dead wrong. My honest unbiased opinion is that LeBron James is going to keep winning rings, but I’m glad J.R. opened up the championship talk for the Knicks. Even if it’s just talk.