1) Madison Square Garden could be gone in just a decade
By now, everyone has heard about the “New Look” Madison Square Garden, James Dolan’s ambitious billion-dollar, three-year renovation of the Knicks’ home court. Yet despite all of the sleek images, video segments, and other forced pageantry surrounding the overdue arena upgrades, you won’t hear much about the City Council ruling (47 to1) in July that has ostensibly put MSG’s future on life support. As it stands, James Dolan officially has 10 years to find a new location for MSG. Unfortunately, we have to come to grips with the sinister reality of knowing our beloved MSG could be gone in just a decade. The City has been salivating to transform its antiquated Penn Station into a massive and modern transit hub, and because of that our only hope of saving the Garden rest on the wobbly shoulders of James Dolan. To put that into perspective, it took him 10 years just to furnish a .500 season.
2) Is the preseason foretelling the season?
The New York Knicks preseason was wildly underwhelming. In fact, it was actually down-right disappointing. Of course everyone knows that the preseason isn’t always an accurate harbinger of the year, but if the final couple of losses are any indication of what is in store for the year, start waving the red flags. Prized off-season acquisition Andrea Bargnani hasn’t quite fit in, the rotations are still obtuse, team defense has been pathetic, and aside from Iman Shumpert, no one from last year has looked particularly primed for a big season. Most sports writers have slotted the Knicks for a 5th seed in the East, but that doesn’t take away the prospects for a complete and utter implosion. Usually by now, many playoff-bound teams have an idea of their rotations and player roles set for the year but the Knicks look really lost.
3) ‘Melo’s injury risk
Carmelo Anthony had a spectacular season last year, so it’s easy to forget that he suffered a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. Instead of undergoing surgery, he played through the pain and opted to let it heal on its own when the season was over. So far he hasn’t complained about pain during any of the Knicks preseason games, but his shooting hasn’t quite looked the same. Yes, its preseason and a lot of players are still working on getting in-season form, but his shoulder will have to be monitored closely throughout the year. By not having surgery, he’s put himself at risk of having the injury flare up again as the season goes on; something especially worrisome for older players like him. It’s easy to forget that Anthony is almost 30 years old. Anthony’s game is built on power and “bully ball,” as they say, and hauling around a weak shoulder won’t help any. Any interference in his shooting mechanics could dramatically alter his game.