The return of Kenyon Martin to the New York Knicks for the 2013-14 season represents two things: the dearth of quality free agent power forwards in the NBA and it also reflects what had been a major weakness for the Knicks as well. Last season New York fielded a myriad of fours throughout the season due to injuries to PF Amar’e Stoudemire, PF Rasheed Wallace, and coach Mike Woodson‘s lack of trust in forward Chris Copeland (likely due to his defensive and rebounding ineptitude) early in the season.
Martin was signed for the remainder of the season in March and supplied the Knicks with shot blocking, rebounding and garbage points in night after night of spirited play. The veteran Martin, and sometimes ancient journeyman Kurt Thomas, manned the power forward position whenever the Knicks were looking for a more traditional lineup — instead of one in which Carmelo Anthony was the four.
However, Martin’s age eventually began to show as did the years of accumulated bumps and bruises as the season progressed. He played in a total of 18 games last season, starting in 11 of of them, while seemingly turning back the clock on sot me scoring nights. Coach Mike Woodson has said that he will monitor Martin’s minutes in order to preserve him throughout the season. The power forward averaged 24 minutes per game last season. Would it be reasonable to consider placing Kenyon Martin and Amar’e together in with SG J.R. Smith? Such a bench would be the scourge of the league and I feel it would dominate the second unit of all but the deepest teams. That sounds like a scenario conducive to helping Martin’s numbers and productivity. However, he will likely still be used in much the same manner he was last season as a spark plug off the bench.
Ricardo A Hazell is a freelance sports writer for Rant Sports based in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter at NikosMightyDad or add him to your network on Google Plus.