New York Knicks

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 3 years ago '04        #11281
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Begley

With training camp less than one month away, we’re examining the burning questions facing the New York Knicks.

Today’s question: Who is the Knicks' most important offensive player?

Just so you know from the top, we know this is a silly question when it comes to the Knicks. Obviously, Carmelo Anthony is the Knicks' most important offensive player.

But we here at ESPNNewYork.com have come up with a few "Burning Questions" heading into training camp. And we've done so in concert with our friends at the Nets blog. So the question agreed upon today concerned each team's most important offensive player.

Again, it's obvious that New York's most important offensive weapon is Anthony.

So, instead of delving into why that is, we'd rather talk about the potential impact of the triangle offense on Anthony's game.

First things first: By all accounts, it could take a while for Anthony and the Knicks to learn the triangle. There are multiple actions in the offense that are based on how a defense reacts to certain offensive sets. Given all of the variables at play, it's probably safe to say that what you see in the first few months from Anthony will be different from what you see from him late in the season.

But how much different will Anthony's game be in his first triangle season? Can he improve statistically?

Many long-time Anthony observers say he has had some of his best seasons as a pro over the past two years. In 2012-13, Carmelo led the league in scoring. Last season he finished second, behind Kevin Durant. He also established a career high in rebounds per game last year (8.1) and 3-point shooting percentage (40.2 percent). His player efficiency rating was a career-high 24.8 in 2012-13. We mention all of this to say that Anthony seems to be at his peak entering this season. Can the triangle offense help him reach higher ground?

Obviously, we'll have to wait and see to find out the answer to that question.

But to provide some historical context, we took at look at how Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant performed in their first seasons in the triangle.

Of course, Anthony, Bryant and Jordan all faced vastly different circumstances in their first year in the offense.

For one, Jordan was 26 years old and in his sixth season in the league when he first played in Phil Jackson's signature offense back in 1989-90.

Bryant was 21 and in his fourth NBA season.

Anthony, on the other hand, is 30 and will be entering his 12th.

Also, while Jordan and Anthony were undoubtedly the focal points of their team's offense in their first seasons in the triangle, Bryant was sharing the floor with Shaquille O'Neal.

With all of that in mind, it's still worthwhile to look at what Bryant and Jordan did in their first seasons in the triangle when trying to guess at how it may impact Anthony.

The big takeaways from Jordan's first season were that his scoring increased by 1.9 points per 36 minutes and his shooting percentage from beyond the arc increased by 10 percent. He also took two more shots per 36 minutes in his first season in the triangle than he did the year before.

Could we see something similar with Anthony? It wouldn't be a surprise if Melo's scoring spiked in the triangle. But 3-point shooting percentage is another story. Melo shot a career-high 40 percent from beyond the arc last season. So it's hard to see him making a big improvement in that area this year given it was a career-best mark.

What about Kobe's first year in the triangle?

His scoring per 36 minutes also increased by two points and he shot two more field goals per 36 minutes. Kobe also increased his 3-point shooting percentage by five percent; his a.ssists per 36 minutes increased by one.

Could Melo accrue more a.ssists in his first triangle season, as Kobe did?

(Jordan's a.ssists decreased in his first triangle season but that was due in part to his role as Bulls point guard in the previous season.)

The guess here is that Melo's a.ssist opportunities (as explained here) will remain the same and that his teammates will knock down a larger percentage of those shots created by Anthony. So his a.ssists per 36 minutes should spike.

But that's only a guess. We won't know definitively about the triangle's impact on Anthony until they roll the balls out in late October. But one thing is certain: The success of this Knicks team hinges -- at least in part -- on how the triangle effects Carmelo's game.
 3 years ago '08        #11282
AC_89 190 heat pts190
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Why does he have to match kobe and mj? Plus nobody on the knicks is as good as shaq,pippen or even gasol
 3 years ago '04        #11283
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Begley

With training camp less than one month away, we’re examining the burning questions facing the New York Knicks.

Today’s question: Who is the Knicks' most important defensive player?

Defense -- or lack thereof -- was one of the most glaring issues during the team's forgettable 37-win season last year.

In case you need evidence to support this theory, here are the numbers:

New York last season ranked a paltry 24th in defensive efficiency, a measure of points allowed per 100 possessions. The club ranked 28th in points allowed per shot.

So the big question entering the preseason is, how will this year be different for New York?

With that in mind, we take a look below at two players who may be key to the Knicks' defense this season:

On the perimeter: Iman Shumpert

Guarding the perimeter and the pick-and-roll were two of the Knicks' biggest issues on D last year. New York was outscored by an averaged of nine points per 48 minutes at point guard last season, per 82games.com. They were outscored by six points per 48 minutes at shooting guard, according to the web site.

Opposing shooting guards and point guards combined to shoot slightly better than 50 percent against New York last season. Ouch.

And, as was pointed out by Joe Flynn at SB Nation's Posting and Toasting blog, the Knicks were awful at defending the 3-point shot, allowing opponents to hit 37.1 percent of their threes (27th in the NBA).

Raymond Felton was the player most often blamed for the Knicks' perimeter defense. So you couldn't find many fans who were upset when Felton was shipped to Dallas earlier this summer.

But Felton's replacement, Jose Calderon, isn't known as a defensive stopper.

Last season, Calderon’s "defensive real plus-minus" was a minus-3.56, which was 72nd among point guards. Defensive real plus-minus measures a player's defensive contributions based on points allowed per 100 defensive possessions.

That's why we think Shumpert will be so vital to the Knicks' defense this season. Depending on the backcourt pairings, Shumpert may be called upon to support Calderon on the perimeter. And based on recent history, the fourth-year guard should be up to the task.

Shumpert put together a defensive plus-minus rating of plus-2.00, which ranked him fourth among all shooting guards and first among shooting guards who played at least 25 minutes per game last year.

If he can duplicate that number, particularly when paired with Calderon, Shumpert's play should help make the Knicks a competent defensive club.

In the paint: Samuel Dalembert

I know there was a vocal segment of Knicks fans who were happy to see Tyson Chandler traded to Dallas, but his absence may leave a void in the paint and around the rim.

It will be up to Samuel Dalembert, Cole Aldrich, Jason Smith and others to fill that void.

There are many defensive metrics available, but predicting how well the players mentioned above will defend the rim is difficult.

It's hard to quantity an individual's impact on defense, because that individual's defensive statistics can be contingent upon the four players he's sharing the floor with.

That being said, if we are basing things on last year's stats, it seems like Dalembert will be able to fill in admirably for Chandler.

Chandler allowed opponents to shoot 51 percent at the rim, which was ninth among NBA centers, according to NBA.com. Dalembert, playing 10 fewer minutes per game than Chandler, allowed opponents to shoot 52 percent at the rim.

So Dalembert compares favorably there.

Also, Dalembert grabbed 45.8 percent of contested rebounds last season, per NBA.com. Chandler corralled just 35.8 percent of contested rebounds.

So Dalembert may be an improvement on the boards for the Knicks. Either way, his performance around the paint and at the rim could be key for a Knicks team looking to re-establish an identity on that side of the ball.
 3 years ago '11        #11284
imtheman718 21 heat pts21
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this dude shump better ball out this season. Im watching Faried looking like an all-star out here. Shump got a point to prove.
 3 years ago '04        #11285
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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NEW YORK -- New York Knickerbockers President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed guard Langston Galloway and forward Travis Wear. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Galloway, 6-2, 202-pounds, is an undrafted rookie out Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. After four seasons, the Baton Rouge, LA native finished his collegiate career as the Hawks’ second all-time leading scorer with 1,991 points and the school’s all-time leader on three-point field goals with 343. For New York’s entry at the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas this past July, he averaged 5.8 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.3 a.ssists over 13.8 minutes in four games

Wear, 6-10, 230-pounds, is an undrafted rookie out of the University of California, Los Angeles. After three seasons, the Huntington Beach, CA native averaged 9.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 96 games for the Bruins after transferring after his freshman year with the University of North Carolina. For New York’s entry at the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas this past July, he averaged 2.7 points over 5.7 minutes in three games.
 3 years ago '04        #11286
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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shall see, both can spread the floor...Wear being a finesse big


[video - click to view]


and Gallow, i already said they bring this dude back to f!ght for a spot
 3 years ago '14        #11287
#MaybeNextYear 111 heat pts111
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Travis in the last few games of summer league
 3 years ago '11        #11288
Dray 1162 heat pts1162
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net fans need 2 get rid of some trash = @

can you guys take him??
 3 years ago '08        #11289
AC_89 190 heat pts190
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 imtheman718 said:
this dude shump better ball out this season. Im watching Faried looking like an all-star out here. Shump got a point to prove.
Faried is better but all star?
 3 years ago '04        #11290
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Begley

With training camp less than two weeks away, we’re examining the burning questions facing the New York Knicks.

Today’s question: Which player has the most to prove during training camp?

The Knicks are coming off of a horrific 37-win season. So you can make a strong case that each member of the organization enters training camp with something to prove.

Carmelo Anthony has to show that the can adapt to Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher's triangle offense.

Fisher has to show that he can transition from championship player to competent coach.

Jackson has to show that he can weather the maelstrom of the NBA season as team president.

But certain members of the organization -- due to circumstance, past performance or their contract -- have more to prove than others.

One employee with a lot to prove entering camp is Iman Shumpert.

Around this time last year, many expected Shumpert to emerge as a consistent scorer and lock-down defender.

The 2011 first-round pick was coming off of a strong postseason, with big performances in the Knicks' series clinching win over Boston and series clinching loss to Indiana.

The next logical progression for Shumpert was to average double digits as a starter and continue to thrive as a perimeter defender.

But Shumpert entered training camp at less than 100 percent health (his surgically-repaired knee was an issue) and never seemed to get fully on track.

It's hard to know what exactly went wrong.

Shumpert suffered several nagging injuries throughout the season. He was also the subject of constant trade rumors.

And both seemed to impact his performance.

Shumpert posted career lows in points and a.ssists per 36 minutes. His field goal and free-throw percentages were also career-lows, as was his PER, a per-minute measure of a player's performance.

Shumpert had some impressive offensive outbursts (the Texas trip in early January comes to mind). But he struggled to produce consistently. There were 19 games in which Shumpert played at least 25 minutes but scored fewer than six points.

One thing to note, though: Shumpert continued to defend at an elite level last season, at least according to one metric. Shumpert's defensive real plus-minus, which measures his impact through the prism of points allowed per 100 defensive possessions, was quite strong -- he ranked first among shooting guards who played at least 25 minutes per game (and fourth among all shooting guards).

Maybe this was one reason why Jackson made a point to praise Shumpert's defensive energy several times over the spring and summer.

But Jackson's praise may have served a duel purpose.

The Knicks continued to explore opportunities to trade Shumpert over the summer, according to league sources, so Jackson may have been trying to improve the league-wide perception of his player.

Still, we think Shumpert has an opportunity to make a strong impact this season in the triangle. Tall guards such as Ron Harper have thrived in the offense. Can Shumpert fill the same role?

Answers to that question will start to emerge during training camp and the preseason.

For what it's worth, Shumpert said a few weeks ago that he was looking forward to playing in the triangle because of the player and ball movement it engenders. He pointed out that it would be a better approach than last year, when he found himself "standing in the corner" in Mike Woodson's isolation-heavy offense.

Shumpert also said that he felt increased strength and comfort in his left leg -- the same leg that was surgically-repaired at the end of his rookie season.

But he didn't want to offer any predictions about how he would fare in the triangle. When asked if he thought he would thrive in the offense, Shumpert said only, "We'll find out."

We sure will. And the process will start in a couple weeks, in what could be a pivotal training camp for Iman Shumpert.
 3 years ago '04        #11291
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Ohm Youngmisuk

NEW YORK –- Tim Hardaway Jr. made some noise with his offense as a rookie.

Now he’s hoping to take the next step in his game by improving his defense and being more vocal on the court.

The Knicks’ promising second-year shooter has spent his offseason focusing on his defense and agility, practicing with Team USA on a select team and playing on the Knicks' summer league team.

“I just want to be a better defender, a better vocal leader out there,” Hardaway Jr. said at Charity Day, hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners last Thursday. “That is my main focus. I know offense will come and I will get better at that each and every day. Where you separate yourself in the league is by playing team defense and I want to be a part of that.”

Shooting and providing offensive punch certainly isn’t a problem for Hardaway Jr. In 23 minutes a game this past season, Hardaway Jr. averaged 10.2 points, 42.8 percent shooting overall and 36.3 percent from beyond the arc. He should only get better as he continues to expand his offensive game and learn what defenses will give him.

The 6-6 wingman also would appear to be a good fit for Derek Fisher’s triangle. Defensively, Hardaway Jr. needs to improve on the ball and his length could be an a.sset.

“I think the triangle we ran summer league, it was great,” Hardaway Jr. said. “You just got to trust each and every person, whoever is on the floor. And that’s the only way I think it will be able to work.”
 3 years ago '06        #11292
lmnop 122 heat pts122
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New York Knicks

Projected Roster
--------------------

PG - Jose Calderon, Pablo Prigioni, Shane Larkin
SG - Iman Shumpert, JR Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr
SF - Carmelo Anthony, Travis Outlaw, Cleanthony Early, Quincy Acy
PF - Andrea Bargnani, Amare Stoudemire
C - Samuel Dalembert, Jason Smith, Cole Aldridge

Trading Block: I'm sure that the Knicks are looking to move JR Smith before he exercises his player option and screws with their cap room next offseason. For as far as that goes Calderon might be pretty easy to move as well. Not sure there are going to be a lot of takers though. Especially when the Knicks will be demanding expirings back.

Position battle: SG. Nobody knows or can tell me who will be starting at sG for the Knicks. I've got Shumpert here, but, it could just as easily be Smith or Hardaway.

Mystery Man: I'm gonna go with Phil Jackson. It's a mystery to me how he's going to get the group to run the triangle. It might be a thing of beauty. But, it could also resemble a Benny Hill sketch. I'll be very interested to see how JR Smith reacts in that offense.

Floppymusings:
Perhaps the worst rotation of bigs in the nba. Bringing in Calderon was wise. It will be another long year for Knicks fans. When Bargs and Amare are gone and you have another couple of good draft picks, that's when things could start to get interesting. What will Jackson be like as a GM? What will Fisher be like as a coach. Regardless, this is probably not the year you want to judge them by.

Jazzfanramblings:
My beloved Jazz are in the middle of a painful rebuild. After John and Karl retired the Jazz reloaded pretty fast with Boozer and Deron and kept on chugging. But, eventually the wheels fell off that and a complete rebuild was called for. So, they brought in Denis Lindsey to manage the rebuild. And one thing we hear in the media from Lindsey on a regular basis is that the Jazz are not going to be 'skipping any steps.'

It seems to me that the Knicks have been skipping steps for a dozen years or more now. Chasing every player that comes along with little thought given to salary structure, draft picks, or chemistry. Almost like a kid in a candy store with 2 bucks in his pocket, you are sure that kid is going to not set foot out of that store until he's spent every last penny. That's the Knicks of late to me.

In 2014 ESPN ranked all 30 NBA front offices. And the New York Knicks came in dead last. I honestly can't argue with that a.ssessment. Since the turn of the century, 14 years now, the Knicks have averaged a meager 33.9 wins a season. This wouldn't be so damning except that the Knicks are located in a top 2 free agent destination and have some of the deepest pockets to spend on players (2nd in the league last year). They've got every advantage, yet they can't break free of mediocrity or worse.

To be fair, the Knicks may have turned a corner. They've brought in Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher. And they are clearing off a boatload of salary next season. But even then it's not like they will be flush with cap room. Just 3 players: Melo, Calderon, and Smith, could combine to eat up about 35 million in cap space next year. Even if they cut everyone else that's still 8 more cap holds that will push them up in the direction of 40 million. It's not pretty and given the Knicks history of free agent signings it could be worse than it seems.

Outside of Melo that roster looks like a collection of the dregs of the NBA. Guys who don't defend, are one dimensional, don't have their head screwed on straight, or are just too banged up to play. I think it's time for New York to take a step back and rebuild the right way, without skipping steps this time around. Hopefully Phil Jackson is up to the task and can face down Dolan when he decides he wants to spend his last 2 dollars on the next shiny piece of candy he sees.

Projected Record - 32/50


[pic - click to view]




 3 years ago '04        #11293
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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That's exactly how I want this team to be projected from "experts"
 3 years ago '04        #11294
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Knicks signed former St. John's forward Orlando Sanchez on Wednesday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 6-foot-9 Dominican national team player averaged 7.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 22.3 minutes in 32 games last season for St. John's. He also played two seasons at Monroe College.
 3 years ago '04        #11295
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Tim MacMahon

DALLAS -- Months later, Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler is still mad about insinuations that he caused chemistry issues for the New York Knicks last season.

Knicks president Phil Jackson cited the desire to "change some of the chemistry" of the team as one of the reasons he sent Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton to Dallas in the late-June deal.

Chandler has been portrayed in several media reports since then as a player who caused internal problems for the Knicks last season, much to his chagrin.

"I did nothing but try to help the culture there the three years I was there," Chandler said Friday. "You can say I didn't live up to whatever or you didn't like the way I played or anything. But to ever question who I am and the type of leader I am in the locker room, I don't even know where that came from.

"I honestly don't know where that came from. I don't know if Phil put that out there or who put that out there, but to me, that was the ultimate shock. And you don't have to say that to get rid of me or to trade me. The trade is over.

"So to judge my character and what I've done, you can go look at all my teammates and ask all of my teammates in the past, and the coaches I've played for, and I've never been a problem and never had a problem. So that was a shock to me that I didn't appreciate."

Mavs owner Mark Cuban, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle all cited Chandler's outstanding leadership ability as one of the motivating factors in bringing him back to Dallas. Chandler was widely recognized as the spiritual leader during Dallas' 2010-11 championship season. He has always prided himself in being an unselfish player who demands the best of his teammates.

"It makes no sense," Chandler said. "If you call holding people accountable daily being a bad influence, then hey, I'm a bad influence. But I'm going to be that as long as I'm going to strap up my shoes and step on the basketball court. And that was the big problem there.

"That's the biggest thing. I guess if that's why I was a bad influence, because I wanted to do things the right way, then I guess I'm a bad influence. But I've never heard of that. I thought that was being a professional."

Chandler, the Defensive Player of the Year in 2011-12 and an All-Star in 2012-13, readily admits that he was disappointed in his performance last season. He averaged 8.7 points and 9.6 rebounds in 55 games for a Knicks team that went 37-45 after winning a playoff series the previous season. He also acknowledges that he'd speak his mind when he felt it was merited.

However, Chandler adamantly insists he never had any problems with teammates or coaches in New York. He finds suggestions otherwise to be offensive.

"You can go to any of the staff members or anybody and ask them what kind of guy I was when I was there, and if I was the guy who was pushing for what is right all the time and they would tell you so," Chandler said. "That more than anything in my career caught me off guard. I can stomach somebody saying he didn't produce or whatever, and that's just motivation. But a shot at someone's character or professionalism, that's a little far-fetched."
 3 years ago '04        #11296
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Begley

ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy thinks Iman Shumpert can carve out a successful NBA career.

But Van Gundy thinks Shumpert needs to tweak his approach to do so.

“I thought he was on a good track. I thought he had a great rookie year. I think the injury set him back significantly. I think either role confusion or the lack of role acceptance has had him focusing too much on what he doesn’t do well versus maximizing what he does do well,” Van Gundy said in an interview on Anthony Donahue’s Internet radio show on The Knicks Blog.

Many thought Shumpert was primed for a breakout season last season. But he struggled to produce consistently on the offensive end.

Shumpert scored fewer than six points while playing at least 25 minutes in 19 games last season.

He continued to make strides on the defensive end, finishing first in defensive real plus-minus among shooting guards who averaged 25 minutes per game.

When asked about Shumpert in the interview with Donahue, Van Gundy offered a few suggestions for the fourth-year guard.

“He should be an every-night wing defender. He should be a high-energy offensive player who moves the ball selflessly, who when he gets his opportunities to attack long closeouts he attacks and creates plays at the rim for himself and his teammates,” Van Gundy told Donahue. “If he focuses on doing what he does best, he’ll have a nice career, but oftentimes that’s what derails younger players. Instead of narrowing what they do they’re always trying to expand what they do so they end up playing to their nonstrengths instead of playing to their strengths.”

JVG thinks Knicks will make playoffs: Van Gundy thinks the Knicks will be a playoff team this season in the competitive East.

“I thought Mike Woodson did a great job under trying circumstances,” the ESPN analyst said. “I think they’ll be a playoff team this year. I think they’ll have a good year. How far they go -- a lot is going to depend on matchups. Obviously the Eastern Conference has gone under some major changes.”

Van Gundy also thinks Carmelo Anthony should continue to play power forward.

“I think in today’s game he’s a 4 man. I think he’ll continue to be a 4 man as he gets older in his career too,” the former coach told Donahue. “I think he defends 4s better. I think he has advantages over 4s. You’ve got to pair him with the right defensive center because obviously you need basket protection.”

Van can’t wait for Knicks to bring back Ewing: Van Gundy coached Patrick Ewing so it makes sense that he’d be fiercely loyal to him.

“I just can’t wait for the Knicks to bring him home someday in some capacity ... he’s the best Knick ever. There’s a lot of great Knicks but as far as the best Knick of all time it’s Patrick Ewing," he told Donahue.

On the Knicks’ decision to trade Ewing toward the end of his career, Van Gundy said: “That was a horrible trade. If Patrick would have stayed the evolution to a more guard-oriented offense would have been inevitable ... it would have been fine.”
 3 years ago '04        #11297
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Begley

Kurt Thomas believes the J.R. Smith shoelace saga never would have happened last season if he and other veterans were on the roster.

“I don’t think so, I don’t think that’s something that would happen,” Thomas said Monday night on Anthony Donahue’s Internet radio show on The Knicks Blog. “Especially if you have a veteran guy to pull him to the side, to get in his ear, to let him know the importance of him staying focused on the task at hand and that’s his job to go out there and to perform on the highest level.”

The Knicks’ lack of leadership was often discussed as a driving force behind their disastrous 37-win season.

The year before, New York won 54 games and a division title with Thomas, Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace and Jason Kidd on the roster.

But owner James Dolan wanted younger players on the roster last season. So Camby, Wallace and Thomas were not brought back. Kidd retired to coach the Nets. None of last season's Knicks seemed prepared to take on a strong leadership role, and the team sputtered through a forgettable season.

“When you have a bunch of young guys you don’t really see that much looking out for one another so it’s important to have veteran guys,” Thomas told Donahue. “... When you have someone like Jason, Rasheed, Marcus -- these are great guys that have a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge of the game and are willing to share it.”

It will be interesting to see who fills the Knicks’ leadership roles this season. Admittedly, this is something the media likes to write and speculate about. But only those in the locker room at all times know the true leaders. Players will sometimes talk about great leaders on a particular team, but they will rarely say that a team lacks veteran leadership.

Thomas strongly believes that successful teams have a strong leadership quotient.

“That’s the thing a lot of people don’t understand, especially when you’re playing professional sports: how important it is to have veteran players on your team,” Thomas told Donahue. “How they’re able to get you through those moments or through that stretch of the season when you’re in a funk and it’s just about guys staying together, being able to lift each other up, staying together collectively as a team, and going out there night in and night out and trying to achieve that common goal.”

Click here to listen to Thomas' full interview with Donahue.

Metta's new shoe: Ex-Knick Metta World Peace reportedly will be wearing an interesting shoe this season in China.... Another ex-Knick, Darko Milicic, reportedly has decided to pursue a career in kickboxing. Milicic is most famously known for being drafted ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the 2003 NBA Draft.
 09-26-2014, 09:28 AM         #11298
Kitsch 
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 3 years ago '04        #11299
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Begley

The start of the regular season is still four weeks away. So it makes sense that Derek Fisher wasn’t ready to announce his starting lineup on Friday.

“The only person that I know for sure is going to probably start is No. 7 [Carmelo Anthony],” Fisher said. “Everything else ... we haven't practiced yet and so part of going to practice and starting training camp is learning who your team is and how different players work together. Putting the starting lineup together is not just about individual guys; it's about five guys that that work well together as a unit.

“Not only those five guys, but the guys who come off the bench and complement [the first unit]. So those decisions in my opinion can't be made before we've had a chance to observe as a coaching staff how that's going and which guys are playing well together. ... As we move into the preseason, I'm sure it's going to crystallize and we'll have a starting lineup by the 28th [of October].”

It seems as if Jose Calderon is a lock to start at point guard. Beyond Calderon and Anthony, Fisher will have options. He can choose among J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. at shooting guard. He has several candidates -- including Anthony -- who can start at power forward. And he can start Samuel Dalembert or Jason Smith at center.

Phil Jackson said on Friday that there will be enough minutes to share among the shooting guards and power forwards.

“The wonderful thing about having a system of offense is the interchangeable parts, as opposed to having a point guard oriented offense where you depend upon one person to organize the offense,” Jackson said. “So we can do a number of things that can create playing time for players, change lineups.

“Hopefully the players learn how to organize themselves out there. We think that we have a number of power forwards too in that situation. Andrea [Bargnani], Amar'e [Stoudemire], Carmelo moving to power forward. So we have, as I mentioned before, quite a bit of depth on this team in multiple spots.”

Brass supports Melo’s weight loss: Jackson, GM Steve Mills and Fisher all agreed that Anthony’s offseason weight loss was a positive for both Anthony and the Knicks.

Said Jackson: “In our exit meetings last April, we really emphasized about conditioning and being prepared to play. ... We think July 1 is the beginning of the next season. People have to appropriately use their time for rest and recuperation, for weight training and then for conditioning. Carmelo took that very seriously.”

Fisher talked about the medical and coaching staff trying to use Anthony more economically this season. Anthony played a career-high 38.7 minutes per game last year.

“We’re hoping [to adjust] not [only] minutes played, but how those minutes are played, how he’s utilized within the framework of what we’d like to do as a team,” Fisher said.

On Carmelo’s weight loss, Fisher added: “I think it’s more consistent with as guys age and they’re trying to find ways to maximize a great opportunity to play in the NBA for as long as they can. How it impacts him on the court, we’ll see. Whenever you’re healthy and you lighten the load on your body it can help you.”

Fish says D is a priority: There will be plenty said about how Anthony and others fit into the Knicks new triangle offense.

But Fisher made it clear on Friday that his top priority in training camp is improving the Knicks’ defense. New York last season ranked a paltry 24th in defensive efficiency, a measure of points allowed per 100 possessions. The club ranked 28th in points allowed per shot.

“For our team from a basketball perspective, I think defense is what we have to focus on from day one,” he said. “Success will be [determined by] defense ... we’ve got to figure out a way to break into that [group of] elite defensive teams.”

The Knicks’ best defender is Shumpert, who is widely considered one of the top young perimeter defenders in the NBA. New York traded its best interior defender -- Tyson Chandler -- to Dallas and received Dalembert, a veteran center, in return. Based solely on personnel and recent history, it doesn’t seem as if the Knicks have the individual defensive talent to be elite. Whether Fisher can coach them into a solid defensive unit remains to be seen.
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GM Steve Mills says owner James Dolan has been mostly hands off when it comes to the Knicks of late.

“I think [he] has been true to his word when we had conversations about Phil joining earlier. He was going to remove himself from the [day to day basketball operations] of the Knicks and be there if he needed him. But only get involved if we asked him to be involved,” Mills said on Friday.

“I can honestly say that I have had one conversation with [Dolan] this summer since the end of the season. We’ve had more conversations about the D League and the investment that he’s making for us in terms of developing players and that process. But he’s been true to his word in allowing Phil and I to work together and develop a good rapport and [to] allow Phil to set the culture and the tone for this organization.”

Dolan himself said earlier this month that he’d been more hands off with the Knicks this summer.

Dolan has a history of getting involved in basketball decisions. One example? He orchestrated a trade to acquire Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets in 2011 against the wishes of then GM Donnie Walsh.

There reportedly was an issue between Jackson and Dolan in April over a personnel matter.

According to the New York Daily News, Jackson wanted to make changes to the team personnel but was overruled by Dolan. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith later reported that Jackson wanted to make changes to the medical staff but was again rebuffed by Dolan.

Since then, it appears as if the two men haven’t butted heads. As we’ve said before, this relationship is worth monitoring given Dolan’s history. But so far it seems as if the owner has truly taken a “hands off” approach.

Clearing the air with Tyson: Over the summer, Jackson said that he wanted to change the culture of the Knicks when he dealt away Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler. Chandler took that as a perceived slight and fired back last week, saying he did nothing to hurt the Knicks’ chemistry last season.

On Friday, Jackson was asked if his comments were intended as a shot at Chandler.

“No, we like Tyson. He played well for the Knicks over the years,” Jackson said. “I unfortunately wasn’t here [for most of his tenure]. But he had a real tough year last year there’s no doubt about it, by his own admission. And the opportunity came where I thought we could improve our basketball club by doing some things a little bit different.

“And in the process I thought about Tyson going back to Dallas, the opportunity is good for him. A place where he played really well and won a championship and I know they’ll welcome him back there and I hope him all the success. Not too much against us. But I hope him all the success in the NBA in the world. And we appreciate what he did here.”
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