Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — Jim Boeheim has watched almost every Knicks game this year, and the Syracuse coach said the Knicks need to make some changes next year regardless of how this season ends.
“I think they’re gonna have to do something down the road to change the roster,” Boeheim told SNY.tv Thursday hours before the Knicks faced the Pacers in Game 5 at MSG. “I’m sure there will be a lot of changes for next year.”
Still, the Knicks are hamstrung by the salary cap and contract obligations.
Jason Kidd, who is scoreless in his last eight playoff games, is 40 and is signed for two more years, as is 39-year-old Marcus Camby.Pablo Prigioni, 35, may or may not return next season.
J.R. Smith has a player option and is expected to test the free agent market, although his woeful postseason won’t help his stock, nor will the Tweets from Rihanna saying Smith is slumping because he’s hung over from partying.
(For more on the Rihanna story and Mike Woodson’s comments, read the NBA.com blog here.)
“They have a lot of guys that I’m sure are not going to be back,” Boeheim said. “And how they fit guys in and replace those guys is gonna be key I think.”
As for Game 5 and whatever may lie ahead, Boeheim said the Knicks need three scorers to beat the Pacers.
“The bottom line for them is to win is they have to get three guys to score, Carmelo [Anthony], [Raymond] Felton and J.R. Smith,” he said. “Those three guys have to score from what I’ve seen this year. When those guys score, they win. When one or two of those guys struggle, it’s difficult for them to win. That’s really the bottom line.”
Boeheim has always maintained that the Knicks can compete for a championship with Anthony, who led Syracuse to the NCAA crown as a freshman in 2003.
The Knicks — and their fans — thought it was their destiny to take their talents to South Beach for an Eastern Conference Finals date.
But now the Pacers are on the brink of crushing those hopes.
“I’m sure they’re going to be disappointed [if they lose],” Boeheim said. “It’s one of those, you wanna be better, you wanna go further and sometimes it doesn’t work.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.