The New York Knicks (8-3) are currently 28th in the NBA in rebounding, bringing in 39.6 per game, but allowing opponents 44.1 per game. Because of all of the long jump shots that are taken by Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, and other shooters, the Knicks are only grabbing a dismal 9.6 offensive rebounds per contest.
Marcus Camby, acquired in the Raymond Felton trade, has been a top five rebounder for three of the last four seasons, but yet consistently sits on the bench. Camby has not checked into seven of New York’s first 11 games despite his solid production when given a chance. In an average of 8 minutes in the four games he has played, Camby has managed a cumulative 12 rebounds and two blocks.
As I watch the Knicks struggle both defensively and on the glass, especially with Tyson Chandler constantly getting into early foul trouble, I have to wonder why Camby isn’t getting the minutes he deserves.
Maybe coach Mike Woodson is simply being cautious with the 38 year-old center, who did miss training camp time and the first three games of the season with a calf injury. Woodson does seem fond of what Rasheed Wallace has been bringing to the court, but in the loss against the Houston Rockets, Wallace was out with a sore foot. I thought surely that that game would be Camby’s chance at getting serious minutes, as Chandler got into foul trouble. But, yet again, we did not see Camby remove his warm-ups.
Both Camby and Woodson have confirmed that the 16 year veteran is indeed healthy. Whether it actually is health related, based on conditioning, or something else going on between Woodson and Camby, something needs to be done.
The Knicks could solve two of their biggest problems, rebounding and dribble penetration by opposing guards, by giving Camby more minutes.