Raymond Felton’s arrest is the latest monkey wrench thrown into this mess we call the New York Knicks season. There are still so many questions to be answered about Felton’s legal issues that his job falls on the back burner, as it should. While Felton and the rest of us await his arraignment in Lower Manhattan on gun charges, we consider how this situation affects the Knicks as a team.
Unlike last year when he was an asset at times, Felton hasn’t contributed for much of the season. His offensive production has fallen off while his defense has been consistently horrid. We now see an example of his screwed up private life and that’s just as real as his penchant for turning the ball over and not playing defense. However, the Knicks and their fans are rightfully concerned with the basketball portion of his life.
In the event of Felton missing significant time down the stretch, we will see a lot of Knicks basketball featuring the younger guards. Tim Hardaway Jr. has been getting bigger minutes of late and will continue to do so. Obviously, the point guard position is what’s more important here. So it’ll likely be Toure Murry on the floor more than we’ve seen him of late. He’ll split time with Pablo Prigioni and anyone else the Knicks may decide to bring in to handle the basketball.
Murry has played in 33 games this season but logged under ten minutes in 26 of them. We have seen flashes of creativity and defensive intensity from Murry in the block of games he played in a couple of months ago. He got off the bench consistently due to injuries for a few games and he should get a chance to show us some more, albeit for a different reason.
Also considering Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih were just waived, we could also see New York bring some players in. There are currently two roster spots available without even counting the Felton situation. So far veteran swingman Dahntay Jones worked out for the Knicks and rumors are circulating about interest in the newly-bought out Jimmer Fredette and D-Leaguer Tiny Gallon.
I for one would be interested in seeing Fredette, an upstate New York native, in the Garden where he scored his career high earlier this month. Since the Knicks are already challenged defensively, Jimmer wouldn’t help on that end but wouldn’t really make them any worse. If not, bringing in Jones is something I can see New York doing for the remainder of the season.
The truth is the loss of Felton wouldn’t impact the Knicks nearly as much as it should. When looking at the prospect of a team losing their starting point guard, panic should set in. In this NBA the loss of your point guard is the loss of a dimension of your team, in many cases. For the Knicks, that’s just not the feeling with Felton. The lack of production and consistency has caused a situation in which not having him on the floor may not be noticed much. The fact that they can lose their point guard and it not even have a large on-court effect is a perfect example of what’s wrong with this team.
Although I don’t think anyone should wish upon him the marital and legal troubles are seeing now, fans are sick of Felton. The majority of the season has been disappointing with Felton being of detriment to the team. The fact that the Knicks are a losing team speaks to them not necessarily missing Felton, because he was a large part of it. He has some ability offensively and sparked the Knicks at times but his transgressions overshadowed that.
More than anything else, the impact of this situation further highlights the nightmare season that New York is having. They’re not going to the playoffs and hours after the heartbreaking buzzer-beater loss to Dallas in which Dirk tossed up a brick, the starting point guard they were trying to trade just days ago is in custody.
With this team, it all sounds like par for the course. Just the latest chapter in a season full of mind boggling follies. What can go wrong will go wrong for a bad team. Ladies and gentleman, the 2013-14 New York Knicks.