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Props Slaps
 4 years ago '04        #10421
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,284 | Props total: 3811 3811
Chris Herring

GREENBURGH, N.Y.—Of the 20 players participating here in the Knicks' preseason training camp here, 10 are power forwards.

Five of them are locks to make the opening-day roster, while two others are decent bets. This would seemingly leave the team with an imbalance of power up front. Strange as it sounds, though, the abundance of talent at power forward could be problematic, mostly because that's the one place it would be in the Knicks' best interest to have a single player—Carmelo Anthony, the NBA's reigning scoring champion—getting the minutes.

Here's where the Knicks' newest big man, Andrea Bargnani, comes in: Sliding the 7-footer over to small forward on defense could alleviate the problem and get Anthony more of the minutes he needs.

The suggestion that Bargnani—who is skilled offensively, but was widely seen as one of the NBA's weakest stoppers during his seven years with Toronto—could effectively defend the perimeter might draw blank stares from basketball analysts who have seen the Italian play that side of the ball. Still, there are indications that moving him to small forward on defense could aid the Knicks in several ways.

Beyond unclogging the team's logjam at power forward, sliding Bargnani to the wing would better utilize his best defensive skill: defending jump shots, which he's done at an elite level over the past two seasons, according to advanced metrics.

Not surprisingly, though, statistics weren't enough to sway Sam Mitchell, who coached Bargnani for two-plus years in Toronto. Mitchell, now a SiriusXM basketball analyst, suggested that Bargnani possessed the athleticism to play small forward defensively, but not the fire.

"[Playing small forward on defense] takes a commitment to running, and he's not gonna do that," Mitchell said, adding that he briefly, and unsuccessfully, played Bargnani there during a 2008 playoff series against Orlando.

Mitchell suggested Bargnani should remain in the post, both because he feels the 27-year-old could thrive in the right system, and because teams would be less likely to exploit him near the basket.

There's data to support Mitchell's point. Despite Bargnani's turnstile reputation on defense, a February SportVU study by Kirk Goldsberry showed that opposing shooters made just 35.2% of their shots when Bargnani was within five feet of their shot—the second-best defensive mark in the NBA among the league's 94 post players over the past two years.

But there's a catch: The study highlighted that Bargnani was only within opposing shot attempts 21.9% of the time, which ranked 90th out of 94 post players.

Translation: Bargnani is good at forcing misfires when he can get near the shooter, but he's normally not in good enough defensive position to make a stop.

That helps explain why Toronto's defensive on-court/off-court numbers, which measure how a team thrives or suffers when a specific player goes to the bench, improved for seven straight seasons whenever Bargnani took a breather.

With that in mind, Bargnani's post defense may not be an ideal fit for the Knicks, who were leaky at the rim due to subpar point-guard defense last season. They were third-worst in the league at defending the basket, allowing opponents to shoot 67.5%, according to Hoopdata.

Despite numbers suggesting that Bargnani would be better defensively on the wing—and the possibilities it could create for countless small-ball lineups—it seems highly unlikely that Knicks coach Mike Woodson would use him there.

"He's more agile than you think," Woodson said, adding that he sees Bargnani defending power forwards and centers once the season starts.

But Bargnani's ability to contest jump shooters—among post players, he limited opponents to a league-low 31.4% shooting last season, per Synergy Sports—would appear to mesh well with his new post-defending teammates. He'd certainly give up more than his share of drives to the basket, but he could be taught to funnel his men to the capable post defenders standing behind him.

Aside from former Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler, Bargnani would also have Anthony and Metta World Peace—both of whom have lately defended better in the post rather than the wing—to provide help at the rim. Anthony and World Peace held opposing players to 32.1% and 37.7% shooting down low, respectively, last season, good for the 92nd and 74th percentiles league-wide, according to Synergy. (Another reason to play them and not Bargnani down low: They each rebounded at a higher rate than the 7-footer last year.)

And using Bargnani as a small forward on defense has worked before. In the past two seasons with the Raptors, he played 131 minutes on the wing alongside Linas Kleiza and Amir Johnson, a pair of players who, despite being shorter, better fit the profile of traditional post players through rebounding and defense.

Over that span, the Raptors forced an offensive rating of 95.9 per 100 possessions on 39.6% shooting (82-of-207) per NBA.com—both of which would have ranked best in the league defensively. (Toronto otherwise allowed 106 points per 100 possessions on 44.8% shooting, defensive marks that put it in the middle of the pack.)

Bargnani said it was too soon to think about where he fits best, and that he hadn't yet talked with coaches about how to refine his defense. "We're just starting training camp," he said. "The roles and the X's and O's will come later."

Time will tell if Bargnani has more to give on that end. But there's plenty to suggest how to use him effectively.
 4 years ago '08        #10422
AC_89 200 heat pts200
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$39,314 | Props total: 13692 13692
I havent played with the knicks yet but bargnanis overall rating in 2k14 is only 70
 4 years ago '04        #10423
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,284 | Props total: 3811 3811
 dj ac said:
I havent played with the knicks yet but bargnanis overall rating in 2k14 is only 70
They always low ball n*ggaz when they come to ny... I remember d. Lee and Zach Randolph being in the 70 range they get moved and they mid 80s like c'mon son
 4 years ago '04        #10424
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Berman

Amar’e Stoudemire is ramping up and feeling good, saying he can now foresee playing in the Knicks’ final two preseason games and being ready for the season opener Oct. 30 against the Bucks.

After going through his most strenuous workout on training camp Tuesday, Stoudemire came into the press room, sweating profusely and exuding the kind of optimism he didn’t show on Media Day last week.

Stoudemire went through a host of solitary basketball drills on the court and did his usual training-room workouts for his surgically repaired knees.

“It’s going great,’’ Stoudemire said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress right now. I’m still getting stronger, still getting strong enough to withstand the pressure of playing. The progress has been great so far.’’

Stoudemire hasn’t been cleared to scrimmage or run on the court at full speed, and it seemed a longshot he could be ready for the season opener. The Knicks didn’t seem to care one way or another. After Stoudemire underwent a minor knee procedure in July, they strictly prohibited him from rehabbing aggressively until training camp started.

But now Stoudemire, who played just 29 regular-season games last season, is making the rehab push, and his mood seemed much brighter than at any time during training camp, where he mostly has been out of sight. He will be cleared to run at full speed next week.

“It’s definitely a possibility,’’ Stoudemire said of the opener. “It’s matter of how strong my legs are. I’m working my butt off to gain strength. Hopefully I’ll be ready by the season opener.‘’

The Knicks open the preseason Wednesday in Providence against the Celtics to begin a three-game trip. They have seven preseason games in all, and Stoudemire wants to play the last two.

“That’s a possibility for sure,’’ Stoudemire said. “If everything keeps progressing the way it has been, there’s a lot of great news how I felt. If that continues, I look forward to playing before the preseason is up.’’

Stoudemire would not identify the exact nature of the clean-up procedure he had in July, but said it wasn’t nearly as invasive as the two knee debridement surgeries he underwent last season.

He won’t make the first trip to Providence, Toronto and Manchester, N.H.

“Traveling these first [three] games is not very important,’’ Stoudemire said. “The most important thing is to stay here on a consistent basis to train in the comfort zone of the training center with the training staff, and when guys come back I should be a step further than when I left.’’

Carmelo Anthony waxed eloquent about Stoudemire’s travails, calling it “sad’’ and admitting he came to New York because of Stoudemire.

“One day, he’s here with us, another day he’s back inside rehabbing trying to get all the way right,’’ Anthony said. “I’d rather see him get all the way right. I know it’s taken a toll on him mentally and emotionally. As a friend. it’s hard for me to sit back and act like it doesn’t bother me. I know how much hard work he’s put into training and rehabbing. To go forward and take steps back, it’s sad.

“Right now, it seems like he’s in a very good mood,’’ Anthony added. “As far as him coming back, I don’t know about that [timetable]. I would love to see him start back up for us at the start of the season.’’

Coach Mike Woodson said the opener is on the radar now.

“He hasn’t had any setbacks, which is nice,’’ Woodson said. “I’m hoping he plays some. You have to gauge it and see. If he can play 10 minutes a game in the exhibition season, we’ll play him. That’s providing he doesn’t have any setbacks and continues the pace he’s on.’’
 4 years ago '04        #10425
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,284 | Props total: 3811 3811
Ian Begley

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- There were probably plenty of reasons why Carmelo Anthony wanted to play for the New York Knicks back in 2011.

Money, marketing, the opportunity to be the face of a franchise in a major city -- they all likely played a role.

But so did Amar'e Stoudemire.

Anthony says that the chance to play with Stoudemire was "one of the reasons I wanted to come to New York."

So it's difficult for Anthony to watch Stoudemire struggle with another knee injury.

"As a friend, it's hard for me to sit back and act like it doesn't bother me because I know how hard of a worker he is [and] I know the time that he puts in the gym to train and rehab," Anthony said Tuesday. "To see him go forward and then take some steps back every time, it's just sad."

Stoudemire will miss at least the Knicks' first three preseason games as he works his way through another knee ailment. The 11-year veteran is working his way back from a knee procedure over the summer -- his third in the last 12 months.

"I'm still getting stronger, still getting the legs strong enough to withstand the pressure of playing, but progress has been great so far," Stoudemire said.

The six-time All-Star was limited to just 29 regular season games last year thanks to two separate knee procedures. He also had microfracture surgery in 2005.

Anthony sometimes wonders if he'll ever get to play with Stoudemire when he's 100 percent healthy.

"Yeah, I think about it. I think about sometimes," he said Tuesday. "He was one of the reasons why I wanted to come to New York. So for me not to have that chance, the opportunity to get a full season in and get a rhythm going with him -- it's not something I thought would happen."

Critics have continually questioned whether Anthony and Stoudemire are a good pairing. Both players like to operate in similar spaces on the floor, and seem to hinder one another at times.

The Knicks are 45-44 in the regular season in games in which both Anthony and Stoudemire share the floor.

They are 2-11 in the postseason when Stoudemire and Anthony are on the floor together, though the Knicks' 1-2 mark last season is a bit misleading because Stoudemire was playing limited minutes.

Recent statistics aside, Stoudemire still believes he and Anthony can play well alongside one another.

He's also proud of the improvements the Knicks have made during his tenure.

"Since I've been in New York, we've made great progress for the organization. We are a team to watch. We have more TV games now than we had before. But on top of that we've been to the postseason every single year," Stoudemire said. "And that was a part of my goal of coming here: to build something that will allow us to improve. Unfortunately injuries played a factor after I was here that first year. But I do envision myself getting healthy and being able to dominate as I once did before."

When he was healthy, Stoudemire played well for New York last year.

He averaged 14 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes per game.

Anthony hopes that Stoudemire can do the same for the Knicks this season.

"It's another weapon that we need," Anthony said. "We could have used him last season at certain points. For him to get a fresh start off of this season, we need him. He's a big key to this team's success."

Anthony just hopes that Stoudemire can return to the floor at 100 percent health this time around.

"Because one day he's here with us and another day he's back rehabbing and training and trying to get right," Anthony said. "I think for him, I'd rather see him get back all the way right."
 4 years ago '08        #10426
AC_89 200 heat pts200
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$39,314 | Props total: 13692 13692
After this year 1 more yr until that contract is up
 4 years ago '05        #10427
s1eepyboy 12 heat pts12
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$5,567 | Props total: 4944 4944
THJ got crossssssssssssssssssssed by Fields b. CRAZY


[video - click to view]

 4 years ago '10        #10428
Agentzer0oo0 209 heat pts209
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$67,898 | Props total: 21181 21181



Didn't know if you wanted to see so many words because it's a long read so I'll just leave the link. Zach really gave us that work, fantastic writer as usual (best sports writer today IMO).
 4 years ago '04        #10429
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,284 | Props total: 3811 3811
Ian Begley

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony knows that he took a "huge risk" when he decided not to have surgery to repair a tear in his left shoulder and focused on rehabbing it instead.

But so far, he's "ecstatic" with the results.

Anthony admitted Saturday night that he played with a torn rotator cuff and partially torn labrum in his left shoulder late last season.

The injury hampered him in the final games of the regular season and in the playoffs.

Instead of going under the knife to fix his shoulder, Anthony opted in the offseason to try and fix the injury through an intensive rehab.

He's satisfied with current outcome.

"I'm ecstatic going from a torn rotator cuff and torn labrum to not needing surgery," Anthony told reporters in Manchester, N.H., on Saturday. "Let me take that back: taking a risk in not taking surgery and letting it heal on its own. I took a huge risk in doing that. It meant I had to put more time in the offseason to do what I had to do to get it right."

If he'd opted to have surgery, doctors told Anthony he would have missed the beginning of the season.

"I would have been out four, five months because of the severity of the tear," he said.

There's an inherent risk, of course, in deciding against surgery. Anthony's shoulder, presumably, is more susceptible to damage if he gets hit repeatedly this season. If he opted for surgery, his shoulder would have been 100 percent healthy when he hit the floor.

Anthony originally suffered the injury against the Indiana Pacers on April 14 in a collision near the basket. The injury was exacerbated in the Knicks' first-round series against Boston when Kevin Garnett yanked on his shoulder.

"I was a little naïve," Anthony said. "I kind of felt it was torn or something like that when it first happened. Once it happened, I knew something was wrong with it."

Anthony played through considerable discomfort in the postseason, and his shooting seemed to be affected.

He shot 40.9 percent from the floor in 12 postseason games after shooting 45 percent during the regular season.

"It was all types of stuff going on in there," Anthony said. "It was messed up."

Anthony never complained about the injury, nor did he use it as an excuse during the postseason -- though he admitted after the series was over that the injury affected him on the floor.

Early in the offseason, Anthony huddled with the Knicks medical staff to determine the next course of action.

"Everybody has their opinion and brought it to the table, everybody had their pros and cons," Anthony said. "[Surgery] was the last resort."

The Knicks may take precaution with Anthony this season. Coach Mike Woodson seems to be leaning toward playing Anthony more at small forward. This move could limit the contact Anthony endures because he would guard the opposing small forward rather than banging with the power forward.
 4 years ago '04        #10430
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,284 | Props total: 3811 3811
Ian Begley

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Mike Woodson hinted that Amar'e Stoudemire may not be allowed to play more than 20 minutes per game this season.

"We've just got to figure out if it's going to be 10 minutes, 15, 20. We won't know at this point until he's back on the floor and seeing how things are going," Woodson said Tuesday.

Stoudemire averaged 23.5 minutes per game last season, when he was limited to 30 minutes per game by the team's medical staff. The minutes limit proved prudent because Stoudemire needed a second knee surgery in March after he experienced soreness following a four-games-in-five nights stretch.

In two of those games, the 30-year-old Stoudemire played more than 30 minutes.

Stoudemire will likely be on a stricter minutes count this year.

"I thought we were really doing a pretty good job managing his minutes last season," Woodson said. "And they were, I thought, positive minutes in terms of helping us win basketball games when he was in there."

Stoudemire put up strong numbers when healthy last year, averaging 14.3 points and five rebounds in 29 regular season games. But as ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh points out in his Knicks season preview, New York won 55.2 percent of its games with Stoudemire seeing action and 70.4 percent of its games without him.

Just how much the Knicks can get out of Stoudemire this season remains to be seen. He has missed the first three preseason games.

No one is sure if he will be ready for the season opener on Oct. 30. The 11-year veteran underwent an offseason knee procedure over the summer (his third in the past 12 months) so the Knicks are being cautious with him. Stoudemire's been running on the court but has yet to scrimmage with his teammates.
 4 years ago '04        #10431
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,284 | Props total: 3811 3811
Berman

BALTIMORE – Metta World Peace didn’t make the trip with a sprained left ankle and Iman Shumpert wished he hadn’t.

Shumpert left the game for good Thursday night with a sprained right elbow suffered early in the first quarter. His arm got entangled with Washington’s Bradley Beal driving, bending in a bad way. He motioned toward the bench and was replaced immediately, heading to the locker room. He emerged with his elbow in an ice bag and afterward had it wrapped.

Shumpert, who injured his shoulder earlier in camp, will be reevaluated Friday by team doctors.

“One of them things, we’ll see how it is [Friday. Hopefully it won’t swell up,’’ Shumpert said. “It was a nerve I hit. You hit the nerve, it tingles like that.’’

It hasn’t been determined if he will go for an MRI exam or if he will miss the next road trip to Toronto and Green Bay, Wis.

World Peace took a tumble during Wednesday’s scrimmage and limped off the court to the locker room. The Knicks said it was not serious, but it was serious enough for him to miss the trip.

“We just rested him,’’ Coach Mike Woodson said. “He stayed behind for treatment.’’

Carmelo Anthony made his homecoming return to Baltimore a successful one by dumping 22 points on the Wizards in a 98-89 preseason victory at a sold-out Baltimore Arena in front of 12,376 fans including his mother, Mary. Anthony shot 8-of-17 with four a.ssists.

It was the Wizards’ first game in Baltimore since 1999 as the franchise celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Baltimore Bullets’ birth, but Anthony stole the show, getting cheered heavily on every basket after receiving a nice ovation during pregame introductions.

“It felt like a home crowd, felt more like a charity game, with the way the crowd was,’’ Anthony said. Wednesday night, he was at the recreational center named after him in East Baltimore that he funded with a $1.5 million donation. .

PG Pablo Prigioni hyperextended his elbow in the third quarter and didn’t return. … Andrea Bargnani added 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting, and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the line. … Woodson sounded as if combo guard Tour’e Murry has locked up a roster spot after he scored 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting for his second straight bonanza game. Murry likely will take the spot that was supposed to go to disappointing rookie C.J. Leslie, who did not play. … Ike Diogu also increased his chances for the last big-man spot with a second straight powerful game (10 points, eight rebounds) while center Cole Aldrich was benched in the second half.
 4 years ago '04        #10432
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,284 | Props total: 3811 3811
Berman

BALTIMORE — Carmelo Anthony clarified that just because he wants to experience free agency this summer, it does not mean he wants to bolt New York.

“I don’t want to go anywhere,’’ Anthony said Thursday before scoring 22 points in a 98-89 preseason victory over the Wizards at Baltimore Arena in his return to his hometown.

However, he gave hints if there was another team to consider, the Lakers would be the franchise.

Speaking after the morning shootaround at Baltimore Arena in his return to his hometown, Anthony said of the Lakers chatter, “What other team would they say? I don’t think they’d say another team. That’s the only team they’d possibly say.’’

Then he quickly added, “I’m in New York. This is not something I want to keep going on. At the end of day, I don’t want to go anywhere. But when that time comes, I’ll deal with that situation.’’

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Anthony has to concentrate on this season and not his free agency.

“If he is going to test it, he’s got to test it,” Woodson said. “But at this point, he’s got to worry about this season and this season only. That’s what’s staring him in the face today.’’

In essence, Anthony didn’t back down from comments he said he made on Sept. 11 he wants the free-agent experience next July. It would be the first time in his career he would be a free agent.

The Lakers will have massive cap space, however they may not have enough to offer max deals to both Melo and LeBron James, who has an opt-out, too.

Anthony can opt out of his contract after the season and made it clear he has no interest in signing a contract extension in February when the Knicks can offer one. Anthony was quoted in the New York Observer Wednesday he “wants to be a free agent,’’ adding he would like a chance to “evaluate.’’ Translation: He wouldn’t mind being wined and dined by the Lakers in Los Angeles.

“This is something when that time comes, I’ll definitely explore,’’ Anthony said. “Does that mean I’m not coming back to New York? Not at all. But it’s definitely an opportunity I’m willing to explore and experience. That not whatsoever means I’m not coming back to New York or I don’t want to be in New York. I don’t want anyone to get that impression of what that story was. That question came different than what everyone is reading.’’

Indeed, it seems Anthony is heavily leaning toward staying with the Knicks, but if they take a severe step back this season, all bets are off. Woodson himself said he realizes the allure of the Lakers.

“The Lakers franchise is totally different from any other franchise — them and the Celtics based on history and what they’ve done,’’ Woodson said. “Hell, if I was a Laker, I don’t know if I’d ever left the Lakers because of what they’ve done over the years, but it has changed. Players are always looking for something better — just a sign of the times. It’s different.’’

Woodson can’t imagine Anthony saying goodbye to the Big Apple, though.

“If you ask me, absolutely [he’ll stay],’’ Woodson said. “ I don’t see him leaving. That’s my thought. Got to keep him in a Knick uniform.’’

The Knicks can pay Anthony about $33 million more on a long-term deal than the Lakers and other clubs under collective bargaining agreement rules. The Knicks are the only club that can offer him a five-year deal, worth approximately $129 million. Other clubs can only go four years.

Anthony said his comments were the result of never having been a free agent. He forced a sign-and-extend trade out of Denver in February 2011 before reaching free agency.

“It came from going through that experience of never having that before,’’ Anthony said. “As a player guys would like to explore that. Guys would like to have that situation to see what it’s about. Me leaving never came across my mind. But it’s an experience I want to experience.’’

Anthony admitted some regret he didn’t restructure past contracts to have him become a free agent during the 2010 bonanza when James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh hooked up in Miami. They all can opt out again this summer. Anthony preferred not to go into the 2011 lockout as a free agent because of all of the uncertainty.

“That time has past now,’’ Anthony said. “When that time came before, I wasn’t up to date on the situation on the CBA. The guys that did become free agents at that time [in 2010], they joke when I see them. ‘Remember that time when we told you to take a three-year deal and not five-year deal?’ For the most part, I’m not thinking about leaving. It’s just something I want to experience.’’
 4 years ago '04        #10433
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Amar'e has been cleared so his prediction to play in the opener wasn't bullsh*t, legit chance now.
 4 years ago '05        #10434
s1eepyboy 12 heat pts12
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 Born_Loser said:
Amar'e has been cleared so his prediction to play in the opener wasn't bullsh*t, legit chance now.
Nice. 2 more years of his contract + resign of melo and cap spaaaaaace. Can't wait

On another note, I don't see the pacers being as good as they were last year...not that it matters but that's just me. I know they'll be in the playoffs tho of course
 4 years ago '07        #10435
I Am The Truth 1 heat pts
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 s1eepyboy said:
Nice. 2 more years of his contract + resign of melo and cap spaaaaaace. Can't wait

On another note, I don't see the pacers being as good as they were last year...not that it matters but that's just me. I know they'll be in the playoffs tho of course
I agree... something tells me that they won't be as effective... something about CJ Watson's tendencies to disappear in the playoffs and Granger taking away shots from Lance & PG has me thinking that they do good in the regular season but might get upset early in April/May
 4 years ago '04        #10436
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,284 | Props total: 3811 3811
Murry better make this fu*king roster, that's all I'm gonna say. We need his versatility, if he doesn't make the cut, Miami will sign him and he'll rot on the bench
 4 years ago '04        #10437
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Berman

Woodson said he'll start PG Beno Udrih and rookie Tim Hardaway in the mixed-bag backcourt as Iman Shumpert (elbow) Raymond Felton sit out. Tonight in Toronto will be the last time Woodson experiments with the young guys trying to earn a roster spot, so it's a big night for Tour'e Murry, CDR, Chris Smith and C.J. Leslie. Wednesday in Green Bay and in the preseason finale Friday vs. Charlotte at the reopened Garden will be dress rehearsals. “Wednesday and Friday we’ll play rotation guys and burn them and get their heart rates up,’’ Woodson said. Tomorrow the Knicks are practicing in a gym near the Toronto airport before flying to Green Bay and it will be a big session. Amar’e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith likely scrimmage for the first time this preseason tomorrow. “I’m hoping Amar’e can, he’s feeling pretty good today,’’ Woodson said at the morning shootaround at AirCanada Centre. “I’m hoping both of them can, to be honest.’’ Woodson likes what he sees from Amar'e in halfcourt, contact drillwork. “The short time he’s done some of the shellwork, it’s pretty good, but it’s different halfcourt,’’ Woodson said.
 4 years ago '04        #10438
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Berman

Carmelo Anthony could only watch in bewilderment. Metta World Peace stripped the ball from him at midcourt during the Knicks’ intrasquad scrimmage Sunday at Columbia University, chased after the loose ball and finished with a fast-break slam dunk. The packed crowd at Levien Gymnasium howled. Anthony shook his head.

It wasn’t a good feeling, but Anthony will be better for it. Anthony is facing a defensive beast in practice every day of training camp. How can he not be better for it?

World Peace’s value will be seen on many levels this season and his goal is to make sure Anthony is the Knicks’ “leading guy.’’

“It’s more about we got to make each other better,’’ said World Peace, who ironically donned Anthony’s No. 7 practice jersey. “We don’t want to come out here and k!ll each other, especially in front of the media and fans. That’s not what we’re here for. This is what we do in practice.

“Melo had great days in practice, but we try to go at it. It’s the only way we can get better. If we push each other, try to make it hard on him, so when we get out on the floor [in a game], it’ll be easy and he can be the leader in scoring and be the leading guy. I want Melo to be the leading guy. But we got to do that together.”

Anthony was not made available to reporters after practice, but J.R. Smith said he sees the new practice challenge facing last season’s NBA leading scorer. It’s different than Anthony being guarded by Chris Copeland last season.

“Just to see Metta guard Melo in practice, it’s the first time I’ve seen him in the years we’ve been together, get a real challenge for him almost every day,’’ said Smith, who also was Anthony’s teammate with the Nuggets. “Melo’s taking it head on. Defense is what we preach and [taking] pride in on our team. Hopefully Metta keeps doing what he’s doing and gets guys into it.’’

World Peace hit two more 3-pointers during the scrimmage — his perimeter shooting continuing to look very smooth in training camp. Cut by the Lakers via the amnesty rule, the former Ron Artest, 33, does not look done yet. He sprained his ankle in practice last week and the Knicks had to beg him not to make the trip to Baltimore.

“I’m impressed with everything [World Peace has] done,’’ Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “I’m going to be honest with you. He’s a guy we had to make take days off and take a game from him. He was there early. He’s go, go, go. I like that. He’s a tough kid. There’s nothing he can‘t do on the basketball court.

“All those things are great when you’re talking about trying to win at a high level. He does all the little things to help you win as well. I can’t wait to really get started when it counts and he’ll be a big part of what we do.’’

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni gave former Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald rave reviews on World Peace in July after the Lakers cut him for financial purposes. D’Antoni was most impressed World Peace took just two weeks to heal from midseason knee surgery last season — an example of grit and dedication.

“You can’t be less than what you are,’’ World Peace said, explaining his longevity. “Be you. I work hard. I work on my body, try to stay in shape. I let people call me old. I can’t help I’m 33. God put us in this world and you’ll age. Nothing I can do about that. But what I can do is I can continue to work hard and stay in shape and I’m moving pretty well.’’

He also wants to mold the youthful batch of Knicks — not just Anthony.

“I want to help the young guys,’’ World Peace said. “Because in the playoffs, we’re going to need everybody. Not 100 percent intelligent, but [have them] at their peak intelligence in the playoffs, bringing the best they can bring mentally.’’
 4 years ago '04        #10439
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,284 | Props total: 3811 3811
Berman

TORONTO – The government shutdown is over, but the K-Mart shutdown continues.

Former Raptor Andrea Bargnani is good to go Monday night in his former haunt, but Kenyon Martin is still wondering when Knicks coach Mike Woodson will let him play this preseason.

Bargnani, whose back stiffened in practice Sunday at Columbia University, is healthy enough to play his second game in Toronto in 10 days. Bargnani hasn’t missed a single preseason game. Martin has yet to play one. Martin prefers to play and is trying to rationalize the extra cautious strategy the Knicks medical staff is taking.

Because his late-season severe ankle sprain healed slowly over the summer, a plan was devised to keep Martin off the court during most of preseason. But Martin vowed even if he doesn’t play a preseason game, he will be out there for the season opener Oct. 30 against the Bucks.

Martin said he has yet to hear if Woodson will unleash him for the preseason finale Oct. 25 at the Garden against the Bobcats.

“I’ll definitely [play] on the 30th,’’ Martin said. “I’m going to push that much harder to play. I’m not questionable. I’m fine.’’

Asked whether he would play the last preseason game, Martin snapped, “I wanted to play the first. You got to ask Woody. He’s the coach. If it was up to me, I’ll play.”

Last week, Woodson hinted Martin could play the final two preseason games, but has since backed off.

“I’m ready now,’’ Martin said on whether he would be fit for the regular-season opener. “And it’s nine days away. I’m fine, man. If he decides to play me in one of those last preseason games, he’ll let me know. If not, the real show starts and I’m ready.’

“I understand: I’m not a young guy,’’ added Martin, who turns 36 in December. “I’m not going to press the issue about playing preseason [even if] it makes no sense to me. I’m going to press the issue when it’s playing the regular season. Because I want to play. I understand the issue. We have guys f!ghting for jobs and in order for them to do that, I have to take a backseat.’’

The Knicks may not believe Martin can withstand the rigors of an 82-game schedule. The ex-Net is destined to sit out some back-to-backs. Woodson appears ready to adopt the same strategy Spurs coach Gregg Popovich uses in giving time off to Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

“That’s how Pop handles his team,’’ Martin said. “You have to ask Woody. Whatever plan is in place – we have one – we’re not sharing it with people. There’s a plan in place. I’m going to stick to it and get ready for what it really counts in April, May and definitely trying to play in June. I’m not trying to burn myself and press the issue playing seven games in 10 nights.’’

Meanwhile, Bargnani will play his fifth preseason contest after Sunday’s scare.

“I just needed a little stretch, a little stretching,’’ said Bargnani, who also has healed fully from a summer bout with pneumonia that bounced him out of the European Championships.

Point guard Pablo Prigioni will miss Monday’s game because of flu-like symptoms, and Raymond Felton (hamstring) and Iman Shumpert (elbow sprain) will rest. Shumpert is expected to return for the next game Wednesday against the Bucks in Green Bay, Wis., according to Woodson.
 4 years ago '04        #10440
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,284 | Props total: 3811 3811
Berman

TORONTO — Kenyon Martin has become Amar’e Stoudemire without the $100 million contract.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson revealed his regular-season plan for his two backup power forwards, who are being treated as if they are as fragile as glass. Neither has played yet in the preseason, and Woodson revealed Monday night he doesn’t anticipate either playing both ends of back-to-back games in the regular season.

That’s no shocker regarding Stoudemire, as The Post reported after the Andrea Bargnani trade in late June keeping Stoudemire out of both ends of back-to-backs was under heavy consideration.

The Martin situation, however, continues a surprising narrative, as he’s suddenly being treated as a major injury risk because of chronic ankle pain. It’s no wonder the Knicks waited until late July before re-signing him to the veteran’s minimum. This new vision could have Stoudemire playing one game of a back-to-back and Martin the other.

“He and Amar’e both have to be managed to a point where they can’t play back-to-back games,’’ Woodson said before the Knicks faced the Raptors at AirCanada Centre. “Three, four games in five, six nights, we have to look at that closely as we go through the season. If it falls that way, they’ll have to miss a game or two. I got to have them for the long haul.’’

The government shutdown is over, but the Martin preseason shutdown is still on. Martin is getting antsy, and may not have a single preseason game under his belt going into the regular season.

Woodson wouldn’t guarantee Martin will play the preseason finale Friday at the Garden against the Bobcats. That puts into question whether Martin will be allowed to go in the season opener Oct. 30 against the Bucks. That won’t sit well with Martin, who claims his ankles are “fine.’’

“I think right now Kenyon has to continue to be patient and rehab,’’ Woodson said. “I’m not in a hurry in rushing him back right now. I know he wants to play. I’ll see Thursday to see where he is, but he won’t play Wednesday [in Green Bay, Wis.]’’

Asked what is holding Martin back, Woodson said, “Coach is holding him back. I’m going to continue to watch it closely. Until I think he’s ready. I’m not going to just throw him out there. These games don’t count. We need him for the long haul.’’

Bargnani hasn’t missed a single preseason game and Martin has yet to play one. Martin prefers to play and is trying to rationalize the extra-cautious strategy the Knicks medical staff is taking. Martin’s late-season ankle sprain healed slowly over the summer, putting the club in panic mode.

Martin vowed even if he doesn’t play in the preseason, he will be out there for the season opener.

“I’ll definitely [play] on the 30th,’’ Martin said. “I’m going to push that much harder to play. I’m not questionable. I’m fine.’’

Asked if he would play the last preseason game, Martin said, “I wanted to play the first. You got to ask Woody. He’s the coach. If it was up to me, I’ll play.

“I’m ready now,’’ Martin added on whether he’d be fit for the opener. “And it’s nine days away. I’m fine, man. If he decides to play me in one of those last preseason games, he’ll let me know. If not, the real show starts and I’m ready.’’

“I understand — I’m not a young guy. I’m not going to press the issue about playing preseason. Don’t make no sense to. I’m going to press the issue when it’s playing the regular season, because I want to play. I understand the issue. We have guys f!ghting for jobs and in order for them to do that, I have to take a backseat.’’

The Knicks don’t believe Martin can withstand the rigors of an 82-game schedule. Woodson appears ready to adopt the same strategy Spurs coach Gregg Popovich uses with giving time off to Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

“That’s how Pop handles his team,’’ Martin said. “You have to ask Woody. Whatever plan is in place — we have one — we’re not sharing it with people. There’s a plan in place. I’m going to stick to it and get ready for when it really counts in April, May and definitely trying to play in June. I’m not trying to burn myself and press the issue playing seven games in 10 nights.’’

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s practice in Toronto could be a big day for Stoudemire. He may be cleared to scrimmage for the first time and perhaps be cleared to play the preseason finale.
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