• 12/13/2011, 05:58PM ET

The Knicks' current roster will have them ECF-bound in 2011-2012.

BigBlueBMP: STAT & 'Melo (67-52-13) vs Sabih (102-48-19)

While already a playoff team w/o Chandler, the most recent signing of the 3rd-place DPOY vote getter has put the Knicks over the top to reach the conf. finals (as the 3rd seed, eking out an aging BOS squad who will wilt from the 66-game sked and the Rondo near-trade fiasco) for the 1st time since '99.

While the acquisition of Chandler is overstated for his potential to improve NY's defensive inadequacies, Tyson does just as much to alleviate Amare and Melo (arguably the NBA's best scorer) on both ends of the floor. Stoudemire will no longer be asked to play out of position to spell the likes of Turiaf, nor will he expound energy in chasing boards (never his strongest suit) that Chandler can instead acquire. Amare's inside-out game puts him a notch above most PF's in the league, especially against the East. Heck, Chandlers' proclivity for D likely rubs off on Amare (and the rest of the team, now assisted by Mike Woodson as DEF specialist).

Having backed off a Crawford deal, NY retains Douglas, the team's best perimeter defender. Keeping him aboard allows for a combo guard tandem (1st rd. steal and defensive artist Shumpert) to promote team defense, a perennial weakness.

So your question is, are the Knicks a top 2 team in the East?

No, the Heat and Bulls are still better than the NYK. And I am not sure the Knicks can beat , Celts or if Dwight lands in NJ, that can be another road block in the NYK.

Lets look at the 2 biggest road blocks, MIAMI and CHICAGO. I think you will admit, if Knicks were to face MIA in the playoffs, Miami would take them down. The trio of Bosh, Wade and Lebron is better the Melo, Amar'e and Chandler. The Heat of now do have a better supporting cast than the NYK. They also have chemistry, something the NYK are gonna have to develop in a hurry with a shortened season.

Which takes us to Chicago. The trio of Rose, Boozer and Noah plus a solid team with great depth will cause problems for a Knicks team which has very little depth. The Bulls have Gibson, Duong, Ashik and Korver to name a few.

The Celts, although getting old, can still give the Knicks a run for their money in the playoffs. I do not know what effect the whole CP3 thing will have on Rondo, but its not the first time he has heard rumors.


With NY finishing 3rd (behind MIA and CHI, respectively...Battier does more for MIA than Rip does for CHI, honestly), they (a) avoid MIA until the ECF and (b) draw CHI, whom they match up better with.

Yes, D. Rose is a special player (with a lot of 9 for 27 shooting nights), but he carries an offensive burden that an aging Rip (who has regressed precipitously, averaging 56 GP's the last 3 seasons and a career-low 14.1 PPG last year) cannot aid without more help.

I'm not so sure CHI returns to 60-win form with an oft-injured Boozer and little in the way of scoring beyond an output of Deng (yawn), Korver (eh), Gibson/Brewer (MIN didn't even want the latter). Douglas proved he can throttle Rose, and he is part of a PG combo (Shumpert/Bibby) that isn't all that bad. Last season's 11/4 contest was sort of a coming out party for Douglas...the beneficiary of a D'Antoni offense, Toney lit up Rose for 30.

'Melo, with legendary performance against BOS in Game 2 in Round 1, can shine on the big stage. Games 1 & 2 of that series were more indicative of NY's potential even despite the L's. Now, Chandler and his trickle-down D adds spark to the type of potential, and then some

NYK do not match up very well with the Bulls.

You will have a starting 5 of

RIP Hamilton
D Rose

Bench: Omer Ashik, Gibson, Korver,



Douglas proved he can throttle Rose


He had one game. He followed up the next game with a 13 pint performance, shooting 4-17 from field including 1-7 from downtown

Rose in his three games against NYK last here had 24,25 and 26 and average 8 APG.

D'Antoni style of offense has not resulted in much playoff success. his teams struggle against good defensive teams. Chicago was 2nd best in Points allowed last year.

They also are a team with no depth. Something that was exposed last year on a lot of different occassions.

December 13, 2011  06:18 PM ET

Attempt number 2. Any takers?

December 13, 2011  06:26 PM ET

I thought it was a joke title.

Eastern Conference Finals? Really?

December 13, 2011  06:53 PM ET

I thought it was a joke title.Eastern Conference Finals? Really?

I guess it's not a joke. You want this, Shad, or should I argue?

December 13, 2011  06:55 PM ET

Go New York go New York go.

December 13, 2011  06:59 PM ET

Sorry, BigBlue. Decided to focus on studying for once the rest of the day in an attempt to get a descent grade tomorrow.

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December 13, 2011  08:12 PM ET

They need more out of the 2-Guard spot.

I mean.... their competitors have Ray Allen, Dwyane Wade, and Rip Hamilton at the 2. Much better than Landry Fields.

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December 13, 2011  11:05 PM ET

Crawford is very possibly ending up in NY. Plus, Fields can still develop.

Crawford would be a big help to them.... provide scoring to the 2nd unit.

December 14, 2011  12:30 AM ET

the heat and bulls are better because of youth and EXPERIENCE TOGETHER..the knicks will take time to gel with chandler clogging the middle so MIA and CHI still have the advantage

December 14, 2011  12:31 AM ET

however, if crawford signs it will be a big help..but is poses a question: if crawford comes to NY, does landry fields still get to start?!

December 14, 2011  09:59 PM ET

however, if crawford signs it will be a big help..but is poses a question: if crawford comes to NY, does landry fields still get to start?!

Yes. Crawford is better coming off the bench.... gets more shots.

December 14, 2011  10:57 PM ET

Tony Douglas is their BEST PRIMETER defender?!?!? Guy was getting crapped on by Rondo in the playoffs

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December 15, 2011  01:35 AM ET

FN ADMIN AND MODS, Bring back forfeited turns

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December 15, 2011  05:14 PM ET

FN ADMIN AND MODS, Bring back forfeited turns

Sorry I took so long. I had a varsity bball game to announce last night at my high school. Best of luck the rest of the way.


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