Burning questions: Atlantic

Does anyone believe in the Knicks? And how will Kidd fare as the Nets' coach?

Updated: August 28, 2013, 12:42 PM ET
By David Thorpe | ESPN Insider

Carmelo AnthonyNathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesDo Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks have enough to take the Atlantic again?
The start of training camp is just six weeks away, with many players returning to their team practice facilities the week after Labor Day to participate in "informals" (small group workouts and glorified pickup runs). Most teams have a clear idea of who their personnel will be, and expectations have been set internally, but there's always a level of uncertainty entering camp, burning questions that each team must ask itself, the answers to which usually hold a key indicator to the level of success that will be achieved this season.

Each day, we'll tackle a different division in the Eastern Conference and answer burning questions for every team. Today, we examine the Atlantic Division.

BURNING QUESTIONS:

Northwest | Pacific | Southwest | Southeast | Atlantic


1. Do the New York Knicks believe they can have another great season?


There can be lots of X's and O's discussions relating to this season's Knicks team. But it won't matter if the players do not believe they can have a season like 2012-13. If the addition of Andrea Bargnani helps them believe they can be even tougher to defend and capable of putting together many huge shooting nights (and consequently more wins), only then will those X's and O's matter.

But after watching their competitors load up this summer (or in the case of the Chicago Bulls, welcoming Derrick Rose back from injury), it is entirely possible the Knicks could enter the season with strong feelings of doubt -- doubt that this season can be as special as 2012-13. Or, for that matter, doubt that they've done enough to keep up with the rest of the Eastern Conference. Absent the belief that they can contend for a title, the Knicks also have the strong potential to be the league's biggest disappointment.