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.
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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