Over the course of the offseason, Buckets Over Broadway will be doing year-end report cards of the New York Knicks roster. The roster experienced a decent amount of overhaul this season, so we’ll simply be covering the core players of the 2012-13 team. Players will be analyzed by their offense, defense, and overall contributions throughout the season. Next up is Marcus Camby.
Offense: Marcus Camby hasn’t been a player teams looked upon to provide offense in about half a decade. He hasn’t averaged double-digits scoring since the 2008-09 season with the Los Angeles Clippers. So when the Knicks signed Marcus Camby this previous summer (a move applauded by many), people weren’t expecting offense from him.
In the limited minutes Camby saw this season (and my, were they limited), he was virtually nonexistent in scoring the ball. His 42 total points this season usually came on tip-ins, layups, and the occasional scorpion-whip jumper that he’ll unfurl from midrange. He provided a few moments in games against Indiana and Portland where he provided short-handed Knicks squads with some scoring on offensive rebounds or in the pick-and-roll, but even then it was limited; his season-high in points was 8. Really, the best moments Camby gave the Knicks on offense was an ability to pass from the high post and hit cutters or throw alley-oops.
Defense: Camby was signed, however, to provide defense, especially in regards to blocking shots and grabbing rebounds, his two best skills. However, as mentioned, Camby rarely got to showcase his two best traits. Camby’s playing time was an overall mystery; he had calf problems then foot problems then coaching problems it seems. Throughout the season, no one ever really knew if Camby was healthy enough to play or not. Mike Woodson only really turned to him in desperate situations or to close first halves to avoid important players picking up another foul before halftime.
In the limited time Camby roamed the floor (250 minutes for the season), the Knicks had a Defensive Rating of 97.0 – the best of any player on the roster. However, the Knicks rebounded poorly with Camby on the floor, grabbing just 46.1% of all available rebounds, according to NBA.com/Stats. Yet by himself Camby rebounded and defended well. According to Basketball Reference, Camby grabbed 11.5 rebounds and 2 blocks per 36 minutes. Likewise, as an individual, Camby grabbed 18.7% of all rebounds when he played, second on the team behind Tyson Chandler. Given Camby’s historical knack for defense and gathering loose balls, it seems odd that he received no time during the Pacers series while the Knicks were trounced on the boards.
Overall: Camby was decent when he actually played, but he played so infrequently. Some of this could be pinned on Woodson (though in his defense, it’s tough to just integrate new players into an established rotation), but a lot of it had to do with Camby’s own personal health. Sure, his offense was as expected (plus some nice passes. Forreal, he threw some great passes from the high post) and his defense was effective in the small doses. However, Camby was signed as the back-up center and he ended up playing less minutes than Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace, both of whom didn’t last the whole season and began behind Camby on the depth chart. Camby’s still got some years on his contract, but he’ll be a year older and without much recent time on the floor. It’d be nice if Camby could come back and contribute next season, but I don’t think many would mind if he retired and opened up the Knicks’ cap room a bit.