New York Knicks

Can Francis Make the Knicks a Successful Franchise?

Headlines were made after the Knicks announced the acquisition of former Orlando Magic player Steve Francis. Formerly known as “The Franchise,” Francis has not lived up to his name in his last two years. Following his trade to the Magic for Tracy McGrady, he was unable to help the Magic reach the playoffs despite the return of Grant Hill. Much criticism has been directed towards him for playing too much one-on-one basketball. This has probably been the cause of his departure; Francis now hopes to start anew in the Garden, home of the most hard to please NBA fans.There is no possible way the Knicks can benefit from this trade and here is why:

The backcourt duo of Marbury and Francis will not work: Both players are very accustomed to having the ball in their hands. I do not believe there is anyway Larry Brown can convince the two point guards to share the ball. In addition, they are very offensive-minded basketball players. You expect approximately half the field goals to come from these two. If this does not become the case, then the Knicks are not using Francis effectively. Francis will become another Quentin Richardson if he limits his amount of shots.

Steve Francis adds yet another shooting guard to the roster: One can argue that the best players the Knicks have are Jamal Crawford, Quentin Richardson, Steve Francis, Stephon Marbury, and Jalen Rose. What do they all have in common? They are all offensive- minded players who could probably play the same position. Do the Knicks really expect this to work? It is like creating a team composed of centers and expecting the team free throw percentage to improve. The Knicks are expecting to accumulate wins by having their players solely shoot from the perimeter. Not good.

Larry Brown cannot coach this team: Larry Brown’s last three stints were the Pistons, Pacers, and 76ers. The reason he was successful with these three clubs was there was always just one star player or no star players. Reggie Miller and Allen Iverson were the leaders of their respective squads. The Pistons are an exception in that they do not have star players. Through the star player or a team without any ego, Larry Brown was able to exert his influence and establish personal relationships. This allowed Reggie and AI to lead their team; one can argue that Brown made them the players they were/are. Regarding the Pistons, each member has clearly been influenced by Brown’s defensive mentality. Brown will not be able to do the same with his current squad; both Marbury and Francis are equally talented players. In addition, there is great potential in players like Frye, Curry, and Crawford (Why do I feel hungry?).

No team chemistry: Isaiah Thomas’s recent GM moves have been criticized immensely by all people imaginable. His strategy involves drafting big names and talent, and currently, it is not very effective. His experiments with Crawford, Curry, Marbury, Jerome James, and Rose have yet to show any significant results. The chance that Francis will be different is extremely slim. The only successful experiment is rookie Channing Frye. However, it is still ongoing as he is still some years away. The problem with this strategy is that the majority of these players have been the leaders of their former teams. Crawford in Chicago, Curry in Chicago, Marbury in Phoenix, and Francis in Houston. One can argue that the Knicks are just another all-star team, similar to the Olympic team. Because of this, the team is unable to determine their proper roles and as a result, do not play effectively.

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