Despite playing in The Big Apple, a place that produces basketball legends, the New York Knicks are one of the most snakebitten franchises in NBA history. When you celebrate your team’s championships in 1970 and 1973, there’s a drought. To that end, we’d bet most fans can’t name more than two players on those title squads. Considering he does Knicks play-by-play, and has for more than 20 years, you get Walt Frazier correct by default.
Are the Knickerbockers title bound in the 2014-2015 NBA season? The answer is oh heck no, even with Phil Jackson taking over as president, and first-year coach Derek Fisher teaching players the Zen Master’s famous triangle offense, which will admittedly take time to learn. Factor in last year’s disastrous season, and it makes sense that the Knicks rank 17th in offense and 25th in defense in NBA 2K15.
Of course, the Knicks still have superstar small forward Carmelo Anthony, and he appears to be as good as any high-level player in the game. He lacks LeBron James’ explosiveness in the paint, but he’s one of the best shooters you’ll find, capable of nailing a shot from anywhere. Need a quick bucket or game tying three? Call Anthony’s number while your opponent complains about Melo’s extreme consistency.
Here’s more good news: shooting guard J.R. Smith cannot untie other players’ shoes in the video game, or say bizarre things on Twitter. That said, he’s your second best option on this team and he’s crazy good. His quickness allows you to steer Smith to the rim for a high-flying dunk, and he’s efficient from three-point range. Play your virtual cards right, and you should be able to work the two-man game on weaker opponents.
Let’s face it, though. Everyone will attempt to double team Melo and force someone else to step up. When that inevitably happens, look for wide open guard Jose Calderon or his backup, Pablo Prigioni, both of whom can dial it up from long range.
In addition, you have Iman Shumpert providing steals on defense, and there’s always second year player Tim Hardaway Jr., who chipped in a little more than 10 points per game last season. Both of these guys can give you at least 10-14 points if you get them into position.
If you want to muscle inside, Amar’e Stoudemire’s knees hold up quite well in 2K15, and he can step back and nail a 12-footer if necessary. In fact, we encourage you to take and fake jump shots with Stat, simply because his golden touch forces other power forwards and centers to leave the paint, thus opening up the lane for quick slashers like J.R.
There is a good chance you won’t get much offense from newly acquired center Samuel Dalembert. He’s strictly on the cleanup crew behind the shockingly effective bruiser (in the game at least) Jason Smith. If all else fails, hey, there’s Andrea Bargnani. He drives Knicks fans crazy, but still manages to average 13 points per game.
Bottom line, the more you play with the Knicks, the more you’ll realize the team is better than the numbers indicate. We don’t know if you’ll be able to knock off the Thunder, Cavs or Spurs, but as you improve your 2K15 skills, you should have little trouble running through even experienced players.
With that, go New York go!
NBA 2K15 is available now for multiple platforms.