The Knicks have been the most exciting team in the NBA to watch since Jeremy Lin exploded onto the scene, but how far can they ride the momentum train? The biggest concern at this point is the return of Carmelo Anthony. If Anthony and Lin can coexist, the Knicks could be in for a successful run this season. After Monday night’s loss to the Nets, New York is 0-for-1 since Carmelo’s return. Whether or not they can put it together over the course of the next couple months and become a championship contender remains to be seen, but Nuggets coach George Karl doesn’t expect it to happen.
“The thing I don’t like about the situation is all this stuff is happening with very little practice time,” Karl said during an interview with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN Radio Sunday. “So you’re kind of meshing different personalities and different people on the court, and you’re going to have to do it on the job, in the game situation, and that’s how you’re going to have to do it. That’s not the easiest thing to do from a coaching standpoint.
“I don’t think they’re going to get out of the bottom half of the draw, so I think they’re going to draw one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference (in the playoffs). I’ll be honest with you, I think it’s going to be very difficult for them this year to put the pieces together to figure out how to beat one of those top three or four teams.”
That isn’t going to please Kenyon Martin, who recently blasted Karl for talking about his former players. Karl’s opinion, however, is one that is shared by a number of people around the league. Teams like the Bulls and Heat have at least a full season of playing together under their belts. Come playoff time, that experience goes a long way. Jim Boeheim believes Carmelo will have no problem at all playing alongside Lin, so we will have to wait and see while the cobwebs clear. If Melo wants to hog the spotlight in a way that many have accused him of doing in the past, the Knicks will have trouble come playoff time.