Most players who are on a team in the top half of the league will say their team can win a title. It makes no sense to say otherwise. What's the point of competing, then? (The money, is the answer, but that's a prety unpopular dish of truth.) But J.R. Smith isn't just giving lip service, it sounds like. He told ESPN New York that the Knicks, on paper, are "championship all day." From ESPN New York:
"Right now with the talent we have, what it says on paper is championship all day. But it's a matter of us going out there and doing it," Smith said after appearing at an event in Harlem at Nike's House of Hoops to promote/give away some Nike sneakers to children.
Smith says he goes into every season with a "championship or bust" mentality.
But that's particularly true this season.
Smith believes the moves the Knicks made in the offseason give them enough talent to "compete with anybody."
"It's just a matter of us being smart with our talents and making the right plays," Smith said.
Thing is, he's not as crazy as this sounds. The Knicks were a top-five defense last year, something that got lost in the traditional concept of the Knicks. They have versatility and a crew of established veterans, which tends to lend itself towards success.
There's a decent chance the Knicks can surprise. But that offense...
They have to establish a system that can get the ball to where it needs to go, other than Melo. They need Raymond Felton to come in and run the offense, but also make sure Anthony gets his mandated number of touches. Amar'e Stoudemire has to not only reassert himself effectively but find out how to mesh on the floor with Anthony, which has been a struggle. There are a world of question marks.
If things come togther, yes, they can contend for a title. But win it? That's a much bigger task considering the teams at the top.