New York Knicks: Why lack of depth at center is a major concern

Perhaps the biggest concern for the New York Knicks entering training camp has to be the depth at the center position, or should I say the lack of depth at the center position.

On the surface things look good.

Tyson Chandler is coming off his first All-Star season and matches up well against any other center in the league.

May 16, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Kenyon Martin (3) during the third quarter of Game 5 in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 85-75. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Offensively Chandler is capable of leading the NBA in field goal percentage and defensively he is still among the best in the league, anchoring the Knicks team defensive effort.

But what happens when Chandler is on the bench or worst case scenario if he gets injured?

Currently only Jeremy Tyler is listed as a backup center on the Knicks depth chart and he is going to be out of action for the next eight to 10 weeks. Even when the youngster is healthy, he has played only 63 NBA games in his entire career, averaging 3.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest over two years.

That leaves the likes of Kenyon Martin, Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani to get minutes in the middle and that’s a problem for a couple of reasons.

The first of which is neither of the three are true centers. All three are power forwards playing out of position and in the case of the 7’0″ Bargnani, way out of position.

If that’s the case and the Knicks end up having to use Martin, Stoudemire and Bargnani at the five, it will likely mean more minutes for Chandler and more wear and tear on his body. He’s had too much of that the past few years and the goal should be to make things easier on the former Defensive Player of the Year, not harder.

Finally it puts the Kicks in a horrible position in terms of matchups.

Do you really want Stoudemire or Bargnani matching up against the likes of Roy Hibbert, Brook Lopez, Al Horford, Joakim Noah or some of the other better centers in the league?

I don’t think so.

Martin would give a better effort but he is over matched at the 5 and gets into foul trouble too quickly.

Right now the Kicks biggest hole is concerning depth at the center position.

If they don’t find a way to plug it, they could fall victim to the same problems they had last postseason.

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Topics: Amare Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani, Kenyon Martin, NBA Offseason, New York Knicks, Tyson Chandler

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  • Lennox Williams

    The knicks have, Bargsnani,Stat,KMart, this Triumvirate is more than capable to backup Tyson at the center position, considering Tyson will be playing about 30min, with Mello and MWP at the forward position woodson will have to find playing time for his triumvirate……its amazing that these experts no nothing about basketball,e.g. mello who is a superstar in this league said unequivocally that bargsnani is a steel (im sure he knows more about basketball) also MWP and BENO are gifts from somebody up there by adding those three players the Knicks are serious contenders. Knicks 2013–2014 NBA CHAMPS believe dat.

    • Matt Shetler

      Your joking right. You obviously should know STAT has no ability on the defensive end and Bargnani is a worse defender than Stoudemire. have you actually ever watched him defend in the post? If that’s the plan, they have no chance in a series against bigger and more physical teams like Indiana and Chicago

      • Lennox Williams

        Matt: It is my humble opinion that the knicks would rather not sign a center because there are no capable centers available, therefore, why not let them worry about matching up with us…..Indiana defeat a knicks team that was injured (no escuse intended) mello, Jr, and Tyson gut it out, seriously with the addition of Bargs, MWP, Beno, and having shump, and KMart at training camp this is a formidable team.

        • Matt Shetler

          That is something I do agree with. Play to your strength and the Knicks have enough talent to be very formidable. I just worry about a guy like Chandler having to do too much and his body breaking down. I also want to see STAT and Bargs on the floor a lot, but I fear either of them having to defend the 5 for a long stretch. However it should be very interesting to see how Woodson works his rotation. I guess we will find out soon enough

          • Lennox Williams

            If the knicks play Bargs at center they can plug in MWP or KMart to go along with mello, lets not forget that MWP can guard 5 position……what im excited about is what most people are taking for granted, the aquisition of (BENO and MWP) these two veterans who were the first to say they are here to win a championship, Beno could have gone to memphis or the spurs, however, he chose the Knicks, MWP said that you dont have to sell me show me where to sign give me $1 give the balance to charity. Barg will be at home, this ITALIAN STALLION will have the largest Itallian population outside of ITALY make no mistake he is much better than GALLO who was a fan favorite.(BUT LIKE YOU SAID MATT WE WILL FIND OUT SOON ENOUGH)

  • Jetsluva

    I’m glad people are sleeping on the Knicks. This team is much deeper, more talented and younger than last year. They still have roster spot open for another big if they decide to go that way.

  • Markstripes

    My sense is that the Knicks will be fine at the center position, as long as Chandler avoids injury. The injury to Jeremy Tyler is being overblown. He only figures to miss a couple of weeks to start the season. Also the reality is that the Knicks might actually have gotten a “steal” with Tyler. He is only 22 years old, and played really well in the Summer League. Waiting for him is not exactly the same thing as waiting for 40 year-old Marcus Camby. By the time the playoffs come around, he could develop into a solid backup. Even if he doesn’t, the addition of Bargnani, and the return of Kenyon Martin lead me to believe that the Knicks actually have better depth at the backup center position than most teams.