The end of the Le-Indecision Era coupled with the Knicks acquisition of Amar'e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton makes it a lot more fun to read the pre-season professional basketball mags. A couple of days ago, I picked up Lindy's and Yahoo Sports at Barnes and Noble. It was great to see our regional covers dominated by a real star instead of a Duhon.
Before I committed to actually buying the mags, I hung out at the cafe, sipping on a white chocolate mocha and devouring a hot apple purse. Hmmm good. It was all very enjoyable especially as I read Yahoo! Sports' prediction that the Knicks would finish second in the Atlantic and earn the seventh playoff spot right ahead of the Bobcats. YEAH BABY. But then Lindy's had to ruin it with the notion that the Knicks would miss the playoffs and finish third in the Atlantic behind the 76ers. The 76ers? D'Antoni behind Doug Collins? You're kidding right. Lindy's is too delusional to spoil a nice hot mocha and my little snack purse. (So what that they were right about last year's champions and us missing the playoffs in 2010. Anyone could have guessed that with the team we had. )
This year, Yahoo!'s Kelly Dwyer did the Atlantic Division previews. He projected that the Knicks would mount a 41-41 regular season record which would surpass the previous season's win total by 12 games. He graded the Knicks as B- at the guard positions and the small forward while calling Gallo defensively challenged. He gave the Knicks a D at Center and an A at the power forward position, a reflection of his appreciation for Anthony Randolph and Stoudemire. Apparently Dwyer wrote his piece before the summer league games because he touted Andy Rautins and had not quite caught up with everyone on the revelation named Landry Fields.
Lindy's analysis was written by Al Iannazzone who has the Knicks finishing third in the Atlantic Division behind the Celtics and 76ers and outside of the playoffs again. Iannazzone had a better sense of the possible rotations in the Lindy's Knicks article as he noted that many of the players would be interchangeable. The problem with these magazine articles, besides analyzing the teams far too early before the season, is that they rarely give any detail regarding how the team will play together. So while we are told the Knicks will finish outside the playoffs, we are not apprised of exactly why the present collection of players won't do better. Still, if you love b-ball, picking up these mags is a great tradition, especially if you enjoy them with a hot cup of joe.