Most would think that by trading for both point guard Chauncey Billups and forward Carmelo Anthony, two NBA superstars who combine for nine All-Star appearances and teaming them up with Amar’e Stoudemire, a six-time All Star himself, you’re going to have one knock-out fantasy basketball team.
It’s funny how this situation arose in real life when the New York Knicks dished out millions to add Stoudemire in early July prior to the start of the 2011 season, and later traded for both Billups and Anthony just before the season’s trade deadline in February.
It’s also funny that since Billups and Anthony’s first game with the Knicks on Feb. 23, the team has gone 7-12.
I guess that’s the difference between fantasy and reality.
The Knicks’ ugly run has given the NBA yet another reason why putting some of the league’s best players on one team doesn’t always return immediate success.
After the amazing run by the Boston Celtics’ “Big Three” of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in 2009, many teams since then have begun to spend the money and trying to copy the rewarding strategy.
Take for example the Miami Heat who, after compiling a ridiculous team of superstars during the offseason, went just 12-12 to start the season until their turn-around month of December, which included just one home loss against the Dallas Mavericks.
This could mean that the Knicks, who currently stand at 7th place in the Eastern Conference at 35-38, are just getting warmed up and are shooting for their collaboration to begin clicking during this year’s playoffs.
However, after losing their last nine out of 10 games — which is good for the team’s worst 10-game stretch of the season — New York will be lucky to even make the playoffs.
“We’re struggling, we’re not playing that great,” Billups said. “It’s a process. You don’t just make a deal when you have two really big pieces that come onto your team. It takes a while. I’m not overreacting to some of our struggles. I’m not getting impatient at all. Of course I want to win, but it’s a process.”
Some are suggesting Knicks’ Coach Mike D’Antoni turn toward putting the team’s steering wheel in front of 26-year-old Anthony in order for the players’ roles to be certain, instead of up in the air.
The Knicks have four straight home games and plenty of rest within the next two weeks — a stretch which, if played right, could certainly rebound their shameful season.