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NBA New York Knicks

ESPN’s Ian Begley Doesn’t Think New York Knicks Will Contend For a Championship

In last year’s playoffs, the Miami Heat proved to be a tough match-up for the New York Knicks, defeating them 4-1 in the first round.

Since the embarrassment that was the Knicks’ postseason run, they have improved their team with the addition of starters Raymond Felton and Ronnie Brewer and bench players Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas. They also resigned J.R. Smith and Steve Novak.

However, the question remains whether or not the Knicks will be able to contend for a championship.

“I think they’re too flawed right now to start the talk for a championship,” said Ian Begley. “If you look at what Miami did last year, I think they’re head-and-shoulders above the Knicks and I think they showed it and I don’t think the Knicks made the kind of moves where you can say confidently they’ll be able to compete with the Heat, but I could be wrong.”

“Maybe everything falls into place for this team and they’re injury-free and Jason Kidd plays like a 26-year old Jason Kidd and not a 39-year old Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby finds the fountain of youth and they hold the fort until Iman Shumpert comes back,” Begley added. “I think there are way too many question marks, too many factors in play to say right now that this team can contend for a title.”

Knicks’ fans should be more worried about winning the Atlantic Division because the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers have all improved. The Toronto Raptors still appear to be a few years and solid drafts away from contention though.

The Brooklyn Nets won’t be a pushover team anymore for the Knicks’ following their acquisition of Joe Johnson and their ability to resign Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace.

“It’s going to be a great, great race in the Atlantic Division,” Begley said. “The Nets made so many moves to get better, but it’s going to take them awhile to get their chemistry together on the court because as great as Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and the rest of them are, a lot of them have not had a chance to play that extensively together and I think it’s going to take them some time to get it together.”

While Ray Allen is no longer a Boston Celtic, they were able to upgrade their shooting guard position with the signing of Jason Terry.

“The Boston Celtics on the other hand replaced Ray Allen with Jason Terry and Terry was a great pickup who will fit in well there,” Begley said. “They’re going to be very tough.”

The addition of Andrew Bynum also makes the Philadelphia 76ers much better despite the loss of Andre Iguodala since the 76ers were also able to acquire Jason Richardson in the trade.

“Philadelphia brought in Andrew Bynum in the Dwight Howard trade and I think that was a great move, assuming Bynum’s knee is ok,” Begley said. “He’s going to get a knee procedure done in Germany and assuming everything’s fine with that and he comes back healthy, he’s going to be tough, but I think where the Knicks have an advantage is they have Marcus Camby, they have Tyson Chandler, so they’ll in theory be able to negate Bynum. I think the rest of their parts outside of the center position don’t equate to what the Knicks have, so I think the Knicks have an advantage there.”

“They should have an advantage early on against Brooklyn, but I think Boston is probably the toughest team right now in the Atlantic.” Begley added.