Contenders Profile: N.Y. Knicks

How close are the Knicks to becoming true contenders in the East?

Updated: August 27, 2012, 1:08 PM ET
By Bradford Doolittle | Basketball Prospectus
Carmelo AnthonyMike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesIf Anthony felt frustrated last year, the Knicks still have much ground to make up to catch the Heat.

Editor's note: This is the third installment of a 12-part series this summer that will profile six Eastern Conference teams and six Western Conference teams that could knock off the Miami Heat. Today we profile the New York Knicks.

Overview

The Knicks had a typically bizarre season last year, a description that would seem oxymoronic if it were applied to any team not owned by James L. Dolan. It began with an 8-15 start under Mike D'Antoni when Carmelo Anthony was running a point-guard-oriented scheme that lacked a point guard, and Anthony's ill fit with Amare Stoudemire looked like it was going to lead to a franchise implosion.

Then Linsanity was born, leading to an outburst of hyperbole notable even by New York standards, though at least in this instance the excitement was justified by the results. The Knicks won seven straight, the last five with Anthony out of the lineup, and the team's luster was restored. Then New York lapsed into a six-game skid as Anthony gradually usurped Lin's newly won role as the focal point of the offense. After the sixth loss in that stretch, D'Antoni and the team parted ways.