|Posted by Jinx Grand on December 13, 2012 at 6:20 PM|
Knicks: When I look at this team, I am compelled to say that they have what it takes to be a legitimate powerhouse team in the Eastern Conference. You see, my concern are based on the number "2"; the Knicks lack of a secondary scorer. It is all good and dandy when Carmelo Anthony has 45 points and the Knicks beat their cross-river rivals Brooklyn in a close, competitive game. But, it is a completely different situation when Carmelo Anthony is scoring 45 points in a Knicks loss, because you need to realize that Melo can't do it all himself.
Eventually, when the Knicks play strong defensive clubs (i.e. Chicago, Brooklyn, Memphis...) they will see how arduous it is to win basketball games versus those teams when one guy is scoring 30+ and the next closest is hovering around 10-15 points. It's not winning basketball. Having one guy score the majority of your points can beat teams like the Sixers without Andrew Bynum, the Nets without Brook Lopez, the Heat without Dwayne Wade 100% healthy, but the jury is still out as it pertains to the Knicks scoring points consistently against better teams.
There are questions about whether or not Amar'e Stoudemire can be that secondary scorer when he returns from injury, and that makes a lot of sense. But, right now, I think that guys like Steve Novak, Ronnie Brewer and J.R. Smith need to step up their offensive games. It may not be their jobs to consistently score points, but the Knicks don't have any other primary source of offense if Carmelo isn't producing.
Nets: The Brooklyn Nets are very, very interesting. This is a team that clearly needs Brook Lopez to have mild success this season, but fretting fans of the Brooklyn Nets do not need to be feeling too down about their club, as you need to realize one thing: The Nets are 12-9, and that is WITHOUT Deron Williams and Joe Johnson at their full potential offensively.
Deron Williams has improved his production recently, but he has been scoring at a quiet pace this season. He is putting up the numbers day-in-day-out, but it doesn't seem like he is impacting the game in a positive way necessarily. He has not shot above .500% in from the field yet this season, and he is a combined 29-93 from the field in the past five games.
Joe Johnson hasn't done much better, either. While he has had a couple of explosive scoring games here and there, it has been too sporadic for my liking. He did drop 23 against the Raptors on Wednesday, but that's nothing to write home about. The main issue with Johnson is his production in big games. Johnson only recorded 16 points against the Knicks this past Tuesday in a game that Brooklyn needed as many scorers as they could get.
While I don't think that the Nets fans should be picking flowers and declaring the season a success already, just keep in mind that they what Johnson and Williams are doing right now offensively is an aberration from what they have done throughout their careers and the Nets STILL are 12-9.
Jets: While Braylon Edwards returning to the green and white doesn't make them an instant Super Bowl lock, I believe that the addition of Edwards will benefit the offense moving forward this NFL season. Two main reasons.
1. The Jets currently control the football 54.16% in the second quarter, but they rank 26th in the NFL for second quarter points at 4.8. It's kind of disappointing to have the football for all of that time and not score many points!! Well, Braylon Edwards had 358 yards and 5 touchdowns for the Jets in 2009.
2. He and Mark Sanchez are familiar with each other. The two played for a season and a half together, so I believe that having another recognizable face on the field will help Sanchez and his confidence.