Knicks believe new roster could be a winner

If some of the key signees meet expectations, the Knicks could be good enough to reach the postseason even without a move. Stoudemire flourished in D'Antoni’s system in Phoenix, and Felton appears to be an upgrade at point guard, a necessity if the offense will ever look like it did with the Suns.

“I think any team, you can go wherever you go, the point guard’s critical. Doesn’t matter my system, your system, his system, doesn’t matter,” D'Antoni said. “You’ve got a really good point guard, you’re going to be pretty good and the coach is going to look pretty good. If you don’t, then you’re going to struggle some nights and I think Raymond has an ability to win basketball games and that’s what he’s here for.”

Walsh said the Knicks will start training camp without guard Kelenna Azubuike, who came with Randolph and Ronny Turiaf in the trade that sent All-Star David Lee to Golden State. Azubuike is still recovering from a torn patellar tendon in his left knee, which Walsh called one of the worst injuries a basketball player can face.

Eddy Curry also is expected to be on the court after sitting out most of the last two seasons because of injuries and other personal issues. He still hasn’t arrived in New York and Walsh said he hasn’t spoken with the center, keeping a vow not to bother Curry and trust he was working out.

Curry has never seemed a good fit for D'Antoni, anyway. The coach believes the rest of the roster is, saying this team has more athleticism than his first two in New York.

“There’s going to be some athletic plays seen in the Garden that we haven’t seen for a while,” D'Antoni said. “Now whether that means we’re good or not, we’ll have to see. But I think we should be exciting.”

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