For a basketball purist, one of the true pleasures of watching an NBA game is to see a great passing team in action. Rather than settle for a low percentage outside shot; great passing teams work to get the ball inside so that they have a better opportunity to sore on their possession. Unfortunately that plan can go awry by making that “One Pass Too Many” and throwing the ball out of bounds or into the hands of an opposing player.
Making “One Pass Too Many” does not take place just on the hardwood in the Association; there have been many times over the years when NBA teams tweak their rosters a little too much and end up being a weaker club due to that final transaction. There are many observers of the Association that believe the New York Knicks may have made that “One Pass Too Many” in putting together their roster in December.
After dwelling in the NBA basement for far too may years; former Knicks Team President Donnie Walsh put together a roster that took the club to the Playoffs last season. During the summer of 2010, Walsh signed Free Agent forward Amar’e Stoudemire and point guard Raymond Felton to long-term deals. New York was playing well in February, when Walsh decided to take a gamble. He sent a boatload of young talented players to the Denver Nuggets for forward Carmelo Anthony and veteran point guard Chauncey Billups; a move that was more for this season than last year. Walsh realized that he was taking a chance shaking up the chemistry of a successful team, but he believed that the move would put the Knicks among the elite teams in the Eastern Conference this season.
It took a while but once the players became familiar with each other one could see the potential New York had after being together for a full training camp starting in October. Of course the NBA Lockout disrupted training camps throughout the Association; however the time they spent together last season should have made getting ready for the 2010-2011 campaign relatively easy.
That was the point when the Knicks may have made that “One Pass Too Many“; as the club decided to pursue Free Agent center Tyson Chandler who was a key component of the Dallas Mavericks winning the 2011 NBA Title. The only problem was in order to have salary cap space available they would have to buyout Billups via the NBA Amnesty Clause. The team decided to pursue that plan of action which arguably gave them the best front-court in the Association; but left them decidedly weaker in the back-court.
The Knicks have come out of the gate with a 6-9 record after losing their fifth straight game on Friday night. Toney Douglas who started the campaign as the starter at the point has been supplanted by rookie Iman Shumpert. The team is really waiting on injured veteran Baron Davis to recover from back pain caused by bulging discs and hope to activate him shortly.
It is still very early in the campaign and Davis is still sitting on the sidelines, so it really is too early to judge whether the team made the right decision in choosing Chandler over Billups. However after 15 games it does appear that the Knickerbockers may have made “One Pass Too Many” last month.