The New York Knicks are expected to be in the playoffs. They are officially a contender after making the playoffs for three consecutive years. However, their payroll has not allowed them to improve after their 2012 season that saw them limp into the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Are the Knicks' championship hopes in 2013 completely dead even before the season begins? They signed another veteran, but what good is that acquisition for the team?
Beno Udrih is a 30-year-old point guard. Is he an upgrade from Jason Kidd? If he makes a bucket in April, then eventually, he will be. Udrih, the native of Slovenia, has some Kidd-like qualities. He can hit the three and he can pass. In 66 games played in 2012-2013, Udrih hit 33 percent from downtown and averaged 4.6 assists with the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic.
He started his career in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings, making playoff appearances from 2005-2007. In 36 playoff games, Udrih has averaged 2.9 points and less than an assist per game. Doesn't look too attractive. Does it? With the Knicks luck, chances are they will end up depending on Udrih. Almost their entire team went down at some point in the season. Steve Novak and J.R. Smith were the only Knicks to play at least 80 games in the season.
The Knicks were 54-28 in 2012. There is no way they can approach that record in 2013-2014 with their roster and the improvements made around the league. The Brooklyn Nets are a completely different team after adding living legends in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The Indiana Pacers get Danny Granger back into their lineup, making the team even better. The Chicago Bulls are also better because they will get Derrick Rose back in their lineup and the Miami Heat is still the best team in basketball.
Where does that leave the Knicks? Possibly in fifth or sixth place, depending on how the other teams in the Eastern Conference perform. The Knicks' payroll is killing them and until they can supply Carmelo Anthony with adequate talent, the Knicks will never be true contenders in the Eastern Conference.