For over a season and a half, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire have been subjects of quite the heated ongoing debate. The Knicks opened up their checkbooks to bring such a talented duo to the Big Apple, but the question still remains, can the two succeed alongside one another?
After fending off the critics for quite some time, the 2012-13 NBA season is officially one of no excuses for the Knicks. Ahead lies a full season, following a full training camp, and thus, the team will be as prepared as they'll ever possibly be.
But this season clearly isn't just about STAT and Melo. Set to boast the oldest roster in NBA history, the Knicks will have many players with something to prove as they hit the hardwood this season. The pressure is on, but collectively, the team has one common goal. What could be easier than that?
Despite the questions still surrounding Anthony and Stoudemire's chemistry, the Knicks have actually put together a team with seemingly excellent camaraderie from top to bottom.
Aside from putting a group of guys together with the very same objective(s) in mind, New York actually grouped together players who have been with one another before. The familiarity is there.
Everyone is talking about the success Stoudemire and Raymond Felton will have once again, being paired up in the Big Apple for the second time. But the fact is, Felton returns to New York having played with a number of his "new" teammates before. Over the course of his career, the point guard has also played alongside J.R. Smith (Nuggets), Tyson Chandler (Bobcats), and Kurt Thomas & Marcus Camby (Blazers). As a true floor general running the show, it's safe to say Felton will have an understanding of most of his teammates right off the bat.
Aside from Felton and Thomas, Camby also called Smith and Anthony his teammates for multiple seasons on the Nuggets. Thomas too called one of his fellow Knickerbockers a teammate elsewhere, having played with Stoudemire for a season in Phoenix.
The list of former teammates goes on, but perhaps no two former teammates shared something more special than Kidd and Chandler, in an NBA championship with the Mavericks in 2011. The pair will certainly be in all of their teammates heads as they all charge ahead towards an NBA title.
And the team will undoubtedly have fun doing so. Every player participating in Monday night's "Knicks Tip-Off" was all smiles, and the camaraderie between them was evident. The potential for great chemistry continues as you go down the roster. The players seem to be rooting for Ronnie Brewer as they anxiously wait for him to return to practice. Steve Novak and J.R. Smith also have that oh so unusual but special friendship.
But the special chemistry doesn't just show up on paper, it's already beginning to pay dividends on the court too. In the team's win against the Celtics on Saturday, Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland seemed to be on board with one another throughout the late goings of the contest. Having both played overseas for quite some time, the pair obviously have a solid understanding of each other's international flavor.
The Knicks' roster has the potential for outstanding chemistry from A to Z. In a team full of experienced players with something to prove, that same understanding of one another will prove to be crucial throughout the year. Each one's veteran mentality is surely to help right the team's ship (should anything go wrong). Needless to say, despite their elder age, the years each player on the Knicks has amassed over his basketball career will help them all stay focused, pulling together as they gun towards that ultimate goal.