This is a great forward-thinking question and to me it depends on Steve Novak. I'm not sure how hard or easy it will be to trade his contract, but it's going to be interesting to see where he fits. I was watching the Bulls/Knicks Game 3 from 1996 last night and Novak could play that Jud Buechler role in the half court. A guy who just comes in and helps with space. I think Novak will help, but who does he play with in the rotation? I can see a situation with Melo at the 4 and Novak at the 3, but how does that help defensively would be my question. The Knicks may just stay put, barring injuries, considering they get Iman Shumpert back for free hopefully in January.
Most fans don't want to hear this but dumping the ball down into the post is an offensive set by itself. It's not exclusively "hero ball" a cliche hot, phrase that has found itself on way too many basketball-heavy websites. In basketball terms it's used to pick on a match up one-on-one and exploit it. The Knicks did this extensively at the elbow in a "UCLA high post set" verses the Celtics to isolate Amar'e on Kevin Garnett in 2011. If Amar'e can extend himself on the block and use his quickness he will be a handful to guard one on one anywhere on the floor and as we know if he can knock down his mid range shot, the sky is the limit for the Knicks offensively. And I'm not going to commit to saying that this is a "slow down" offense. All great offenses can beat you in many ways. In transition, in the half court and at both the 3 point and FT lines.
I think Kidd's play is very important, especially from the perimeter. The Knicks need a player to knock down threes and we know how many Kidd has made in his career. The Knicks wanted Steve Nash, and I can confirm they offered Iman Shumpert in an attempt to land him, but they have another Hall of Famer to help Carmelo. I'll worry about his contract and age after this season. Those tires aren't completely worn yet. Their 3-point attempts should be similar but I believe Kidd will help them with more makes, which will be a huge factor in the win column.
Believe it or not the Knicks were a good enough defensive team to win many a playoff game last year with Amar'e AND Melo. I don't buy into this idea of their hopes riding on their defensive play specifically. The team has the defensive tools and depth to be very good. Let the offensive players do what they get paid to do, be extraordinary and close games. The defense should get stops and close possessions when they need to. If teams make shots, see Miami from 3, then you tip your cap. Obviously, defense is about communication and winning one on one battles, so let's hope the unit as a whole can accomplish this objective including its two stars.
Coming soon to TKBtv!!