The season is less than one week away, but most of the rosters are set, barring the requisite Michael Jordan comeback rumor (just kidding, but only a little). We have an idea where our team stands, but we can't really know unless we discuss everyone else. In that spirit, I'm going to throw up a "competition discussion" thread for each of the other 29 teams over the next month or so. We'll go in alphabetical order from A to Z. Today's team: New York.
Last year's record: 33-49.
In: Zach Randolph (trade), Wilson Chandler (draft).
Out: Channing Frye (trade), Steve Francis (trade).
Projected starting lineup: Stephon Marbury, Jamal Crawford, Quentin Richardson, Zach Randolph, Eddy Curry.
Bench (in no particular order): Nate Robinson, Mardy Collins, Fred Jones, Renaldo Balkman, Wilson Chandler, Jared Jeffries, David Lee, Malik Rose, Randolph Morris, Jerome James.
So what do we think? Can Curry and Randolph co-exist? Is Stephon Marbury crazier than Gilbert Arenas (yes)? Will the Isiah Thomas trial hang over this team? Does Isiah hate white people, or just David Lee? Will Jamal Crawford finally become a star (no)? Can they play any defense?
Proponents of the Zach Randolph trade will say that it was one they had to make. I mean, a 20-10 guy for Steve Francis and Channing Frye, no-brainer, right?
On pure talent, well, sure, but all the Knicks have done now is eliminate one duplication (shoot-first guards) and created another (lumbering big men who like to post up). Making matters worse is that Randolph's arrival means less playing time for David Lee, the team's best player statistically last year. If the Knicks are smart, they trade Curry in an attempt to get Kobe Bryant, but they've invested too much in Curry to get rid of him.
I also don't like a Marbury/Crawford backcourt for this team. It's like they keep changing their identity, from a fast break, pick and roll team (which suits Marbury well) to a post-up team, which doesn't suit Marbury well. Going to a post up team isn't a horrible idea, except for the fact that neither Curry nor Randolph can pass out of a double team, and there's only one good spot-up shooter (Quentin Richardson) on the roster.
There's talent here, but once again, it doesn't fit. The only difference this year is that it doesn't fit in a different way.
I'll say 34-48.
Other CDs, with mine and Jake's projected record alongside. Yours, of course, are in the comments of those posts.
Charlotte: 42-40/39-43. Of course, this news changes everything. Now, I say the Bobcats finish 35-47.
Golden State: 36-46/35-47.
LA Clippers: 23-59/19-63.
LA Lakers: 42-40/42-40.
New Jersey: 41-41/45-37.