Randolph (above) and Curry will dominate down low.
David Lee averaged 10.1 rebounds in games in which he came off the bench last season. He's the first player to average double-digit boards as a reserve (minimum: 25 games) since Dennis Rodman did it in 1993–94.
Record: 33-49 (12th in East) Points scored:97.5 (16th in NBA) Points allowed: 100.3 (20th) Coach:Isiah Thomas (second season with Knicks)
Yet another big talent is added, but this one will get the club back to the playoffs
The Knicks' off-season had a
circuslike atmosphere, what with coach Isiah Thomas spending more time in a
courtroom than on the court and point guard Stephon Marbury, having eaten one
too many cannoli, declaring his intention to leave his hometown team and play in
Italy after his contract expires in two years. The sideshows were unfortunate
because they drew attention away from a move that should put New York in the
playoffs for the first time since 2003-04: the trade for rugged power forward
One of only five players to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds last
season, Randolph was acquired from the Trail Blazers in a draft-day deal for
Steve Francis and Channing Frye. Though he comically declared himself in "O.K.
shape" in camp, Randolph doesn't play above the rim, so his primary goal will
not be conditioning. It will be to avoid making headlines off the court.
Randolph was no stranger to the Portland police blotter and was suspended by
the Blazers for violations ranging from making an obscene gesture toward fans to
punching out a teammate in practice. "I'll be no trouble," Randolph says of
playing in New York. "I bought a place out in the suburbs. I'm staying out of
If Randolph keeps his promise, he and center Eddy Curry will form arguably
the top frontcourt tandem in the Eastern Conference. Congestion around the rim
shouldn't be a problem as Curry lives in the paint and prefers to catch the ball
on the right block; Randolph is an effective perimeter shooter who likes to set
up on the left block. "Playing with Zach gives us a lot of options," says Curry.
"He can play inside-out and score from anywhere. With him on board, I'm really
excited about this season."
That's one emotion that has not been associated with the Knicks for a long
time. -- Chris Mannix