The New York Knicks‘ offseason came and went without much fanfare. Gone were such irreplaceable pieces (insert sarcasm) as Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and Ronnie Brewer only to be interchanged for the likes of Metta World Peace and Andrea Bargnani. While under the radar, the Metta World Peace signing guarantees that the Knicks will start the season with a toughness they lacked.
This is not suggesting that we will see the artist formerly known as Ron Artest engaging in fisticuffs in the stands with patrons like in the “Malice at the Palace.” We may see some dirty play that delivered a forearm shiver to James Harden that would rival anything in the WWE.
Yes, World Peace may be suspended for a couple games for not living up to his self-giving moniker, but it will help the Knicks win games in the long run.
The Knicks were looked at most of last season as a finesse team. Up until the signing of Kenyon Martin, they were a team who was rather easily pushed around by the Indiana Pacers and the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference. Signing a guy like Metta World Peace doesn’t guarantee that the scenario changes, but it makes teams think twice about trying such a combustible part of the team.
The Knicks were shorthanded offensively during a large portion of the season. During their initial run, they were forced to start Ronnie Brewer, who proved to be serviceable for the first month. Also, high-jumping James White, who provided nothing but a stop gap for substitute J.R. Smith, started 16 games while providing nothing for the Knickerbockers.
Even a past-his-prime World Peace can deliver more than the two tin cans the Knicks previously had starting.
With the Knicks figuring to start Carmelo Anthony at power forward, it would benefit them greatly to start World Peace alongside him. There, he could handle the more brawny power forwards such as David West and allows Anthony, who has never been identified as a stout defender, a breather on defense.
At first when Metta World Peace was signed, I laughed out loud figuring that the Brooklyn Nets got Paul Pierce and the Knicks hired someone more likely to pierce your skull. The more I looked at it, the more I realized that World Peace can be a compliment to what Mike Woodson plans to do in the upcoming season.