The Knicks signed Raymond Felton, which should be an upgrade over “Linsanity”, given his experience and cheap contract, but the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo is clearly the better point guard. Rondo averaged 11.9 points, 11.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game but he struggled as a 23.8-percent three-point shooter while Felton averaged 11.4 points, 6.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds with a slightly better three-point shot at 30.5-percent.
Jason Kidd was a starting point guard with Dallas Mavericks, but at age 39, he’s better off staying fresh coming off of the bench. Kidd averaged 6.2 points, 5.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds with a 35.4-percent three-point shot while the Celtics’ backup Keyon Dooling averaged four points, 1.1 assists and 0.8 rebounds with a 33.3-percent three point shot.
Both teams signed free agents at the shooting guard position, but the Celtics appear to have the better players after signing free agents Courtney Lee and Jason Terry to replace Allen while they wait for Avery Bradley to recover from surgery on both of his shoulders. The Knicks, meanwhile, signed Ronnie Brewer to replace Fields, resigned J.R. Smith and are waiting for Iman Shumpert to regain full health following his torn ACL surgery.
Lee averaged 11.4 points, 1.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 40.1-percent from three-point range and Terry averaged 15.1 points, 3.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 37.8-percent from three-point range. Brewer averaged 6.9 points, 2.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 27.5-percent from three-point range and Smith averaged 12.5 points, 2.4 assists and 3.9 rebounds while shooting 34.7-percent from three-point range.
Paul Pierce will be 35 years old on October 13 and is still playing at a high level, but it’s obvious that the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony is the better player. Pierce averaged 19.4 points, 4.5 assists and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 36.6-percent from three-point range and Anthony averaged 22.6 points, 3.6 assists and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 33.5-percent from three-point range.
The Knicks’ resigned the NBA’s leading three-point shooter Steve Novak to be Anthony’s backup, but the Celtics backup for Pierce is Jeff Green, who missed last season due to heart surgery and Kris Joseph, who was drafted in the second round. Green was a former starter with the Oklahoma City Thunder before getting traded to the Celtics and serving a smaller role prior to surgery.
Amare Stoudemire is a much better power forward than the Celtics’ Brandon Bass. Bass averaged 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds while Stoudemire averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds.
The Celtics selected Jared Sullinger with one of their first round picks and he will begin the season as Bass’ backup. He could be a potential problem for Stoudemire’s backup’ Kurt Thomas who will be turning 40 years old on October 4.
Tyson Chandler is a better defensive center than Kevin Garnett, but Garnett is more active in the Celtics’ offense. Garnett averaged 15.8 points and 8.2 rebounds while Chandler averaged 11.3 points and 9.9 rebounds.
Bench-wise at the center position is too hard to tell because while recent Knicks’ acquisition Marcus Camby has had a great career, he is 38-years old and the Celtics’ backup Chris Wilcox is coming off of heart surgery and Fab Melo failed to impress at the NBA Summer League.
The Knicks have a better front court than the Celtics in Anthony, Stoudemire and Chandler, but the question is whether it’ll be enough to beat the Celtics backcourt of Rondo, Lee and Terry.