The analysis of the 2012 ESPN NBA Player Ranking continues with Knicks’ back-up center: Marcus Camby.
Camby is listed as the 127th best player in the NBA out of 500 ranked. He dropped down from No. 74 last season, and scored 5.05 which is better than some other big men like Udonis Haslem (5.02), Samuel Dalembert (4.94), and Lamar Odom (5.00).
I think its fair to say that Camby is right where he should be. The former Defensive Player of the Year is no longer a starter, or even expected to play more than 25 minutes on any given night. He averaged 4.9 ppg, 9.0 rpg, and 1.5 bpg last season with the Rockets/Trailblazers. Camby is still an excellent rebounder, shot blocker, and overall defender at his age. His offensive skills will not be a focal point this season, but teams will get hurt if they forget about his midrange jumper.
Camby is the perfect player to replace Tyson Chandler when he takes his rest. Camby played the same role as Chandler for most of his nearly 17 year career. That is, he was the defensive anchor that helped lock down the paint against opponent big men, even doing so for the Knicks back in the 90′s. Last season, after Tyson would leave the game, the team usually saw a drop in defensive effectiveness, but with Camby that is much less likely to happen. Also, it will be interesting to see if Coach Woodson chooses to play Chandler and Camby together, which would create a defensive super team.
The biggest concern this season for Camby is his health. At 38 years-old, he is one the oldest players in the league (the oldest is Kurt Thomas, another Knick player), and injuries could become a concern over the 82 game season. The overall theme for the Knicks’ veterans is in order to succeed they must stay on the floor. If Camby can keep himself in the game he will provide a defensive attitude to the mostly offensive bench.
Marcus Camby could be the X Factor for this team. No one seems to be talking about him, and he could help turn us into the best rebounding and defensive team in the league. Camby has one of the most defined roles on this team, and that should allow him to help and lead the second the season starts.