Jrue Holiday is going to have more pressure on him now that Iguodala is gone and will need to improve upon his 2011-12 season where he averaged 13.5 points, 4.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 30.5-percent from three-point range. The Knicks recent acquisition Raymond Felton averaged 11.4 points, 6.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 30.5-percent from three-point range with the Portland Trailblazers.
Lou Williams was the 76ers’ backup point guard last season, but after signing with the Atlanta Hawks, he’ll be replaced by former Oklahoma City Thunder backup Royal Ivey. Jason Kidd was a starting point guard with Dallas Mavericks, but will be a backup with the Knicks after averaging 6.2 points, 5.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 35.4-percent from three-point range.
The 76ers also acquired Jason Richardson in the blockbuster trade and he’ll likely start with free agent signing Nick Young coming off of the bench. The Knicks will start Ronnie Brewer and have recently resigned J.R. Smith as his backup while they wait for Iman Shumpert to regain full health following his torn ACL surgery.
Richardson averaged 11.6 points, 2.0 assists and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 36.8-percent from three-point range and Young averaged 14.2 points, 0.9 assists and 2.1 rebounds while shooting 36.5-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.
The Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony is a much better player than the 76ers’ Evan Turner. Turner averaged 9.4 points, 2.8 assists and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 22.4-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 Turner’s backup is former Golden State Warriors starter Dorell Wright. Wright averaged 10.3 points, 1.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds while shooting 36.0-percent from three-point range.
Amare Stoudemire is a much better power forward than the 76ers’ Spencer Hawes. Hawes averaged 9.6 points and 7.3 rebounds while Stoudemire averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds.
The 76ers’ Thaddeus Young could eventually challenge for the starting power forward job and will be a potential problem for Stoudemire’s backup’ Kurt Thomas, who will be turning 40 years old on October 4. Young averaged 12.8 points and 5.2 rebounds.
Recent acquisition Andrew Bynum is a better center than Tyson Chandler and will be more active in the 76ers’ offense. Garnett averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 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 76ers’ Kwame Brown has been a huge disappointment since being selected first overall in the 2001 by the Washington Wizards. Brown averaged 6.3 points and 6.3 rebounds last season.
The Knicks have the bigger names in Anthony, Stoudemire and Chandler, but the question is whether it’ll be enough to beat the 76ers whose team is predicated on having depth.