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 3 years ago '04        #11301
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Begley

Amar'e Stoudemire didn’t need to rehab any injuries over the summer. But the Knicks are still proceeding with caution when it comes to the $100 million forward.

“Amar'e physically looks great. Looks like he’s in fantastic shape,” Derek Fisher said on Friday. “He’s very focused on coming into this season healthy and I think he’s accomplished that goal. ... His knees will be an issue at some point, just manage his minutes in some respects, how we’ll limit him in practice, give him some days to get back up to speed and get some rest. But I think he’s willing to come in and buy in to what we want to teach and he’s ready to go and he’s excited.”

Stoudemire has suffered through several knee ailments over the last two seasons and had microfracture surgery when he was with the Phoenix Suns.

The 31-year-old underwent three separate operations over a ten-month span ending last summer and played on a minutes restriction for portions of 2012-13 and 2013-14.

So it makes sense that the Knicks would want to monitor his minutes this season. Stoudemire is in the final season of a five-year, $100 million contract and the Knicks explored the possibility of trading him in the offseason.

Assuming Stoudemire remains on the roster for the entire season, it will be interesting to see how Fisher uses him. Stoudemire is one of several power forwards on the roster, including Andrea Bargnani, Jason Smith and (at times) Carmelo Anthony.
Stoudemire played extremely well late last season, averaging 16 points on better than 50 percent shooting over the final 20 games.

Fisher says Bargs will be “great”: Speaking of players the Knicks looked into trade over the summer, Fisher believes Andrea Bargnani will be a strong contributor in 2014-15.

“I think Andrea will be great. I think Andrea is a great basketball player,” Fisher said. “The system won’t necessarily make him better. He’s had some unfortunate situations with some injuries. He’s obviously been traded, getting used to a new environment and a new team, but also getting traded to a team that was disjointed and a lot of question marks surrounding the team and inconsistencies.

“So in my conversations with Andrea he’s excited and he’s determined to have a really good season. He’s looking forward to what it is we’re trying to do offensively. A lot of times we’ve spoken it’s been about what we’re going to do on the defensive end. He feels good about understanding where we’re going defensively. He’s looking forward to having a great year.”

Bargnani never developed into the secondary scoring option that the Knicks had been hoping for when they traded for him last summer.

He struggled defensively and was limited to 39 games due to a torn ligament in his injury.

General manager Steve Mills said Bargnani has been one of "13-14" Knicks working out together at the team's training facility in recent days.

Phil hopes Knicks will play “quicker” this season: The Knicks under Mike Woodson played at a plodding pace on offense.

Last season, they ranked 29th in the NBA in pace, due in part to their reliance on isolation sets.

Phil Jackson said on Friday that he hopes the Knicks can play faster this season.

“We have some youth and we have some veteran players that have come in to join us. We’ve got some size. We’ve also got some young guards and hopefully a little bit of a quicker team in the process,” he said.

Phil on West Point: The Knicks will spend five days practicing at the military academy at West Point next week. The idea to practice at West Point was Jackson’s.

“We’re going there with the hopes that we’ll give the players an idea of the discipline and the character that makes up some of the best of our country that come to this academy to get educated,” Jackson said.
 3 years ago '04        #11302
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Begley

Initially, you can expect Carmelo Anthony to play on the wing and in the post in the Knicks’ new triangle offense.

But eventually, Phil Jackson says Carmelo should be able to play all positions on the floor -- including in the backcourt.

“He will be, I think, quite comfortable in the position he is at on the floor,” Jackson said on Friday.

One of the biggest storylines this season will be Anthony’s performance in the triangle.

Derek Fisher, who knows a thing or two about the offense, believes Anthony should look to examples set by Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant -- both of whom won multiple titles playing in the triangle.

“I think that Kobe had Michael as an example of how he played in [the triangle] and how he worked in it. That helped him I think to be a natural when he got to it. Carmelo now has multiple examples of how guys have been successful inside of the system,” Fisher said. “Michael broke the mold in the sense of how to be that great within the system. I think Carmelo will have an advantage so to speak of having these examples of some of the greatest players to ever play, still have these hall of fame careers within the system and playing with their teammates.”

Jackson on Friday acknowledged that there may be a period of adjustment for Anthony, who is accustomed to operating in isolation.

“There’s a period of time in which it takes a scorer with mainly a scoring mentality to play with the idea that you can’t score every time you touch the ball,” Jackson said. “A lot of the scorers, it’s a natural instinct, ‘I get the ball, I look to score.’ Looking to score is one thing, holding the ball is another. That is one of the things that players learn -- that tempo and rhythm -- and I don’t think it is going to be that difficult of a situation.”

It will be interesting to see how quickly Anthony and the rest of the Knicks learn to operate in Jackson’s offense.

The triangle is predicated on constant ball and player movement. It will be a stark contrast for those Knicks who played under Mike Woodson. His offense was often dependent on isolation sets. There is room for isolation in the triangle, but over dribbling and holding the ball are frowned upon.

Earlier this summer, we took a look at how Anthony may fit in the triangle. We also looked at how the triangle impacted Jordan and Kobe in their first seasons in the offense.

For what it’s worth, Anthony said earlier this month that he is excited about playing in the offense.

"Without a doubt, without a doubt. When people say spots, I'm going to be all over the floor in the triangle," Anthony said. "It makes it hard to guard, it keeps all eyes off of you. I'm looking forward to it, I've been saying it all summer. I can't wait."

Fisher says it wasn't only about the money for Melo: Many look at Carmelo Anthony's re-signing with the Knicks as Anthony going for the money. After all, he signed a five-year, $124 million contract to return to New York. But Fisher believes it was about more than money for Melo.

"I think there’s no question [Anthony] wants to win,” Fisher said. “At the same time, that’s why he came back, because he believes that’s possible. I don’t believe it was just for the money. He could have gotten the money to go anywhere, but I do believe he’s confident in not just where we are, but where we can go, and he wants to participate in that in a very detailed way. So I’m hopeful that we can all come in collectively, put our talents together to achieve some special things.”

Fisher quizzes Kidd: Fisher talked to ex-Nets coach Jason Kidd about transitioning from player to coach.

Kidd led the Nets to the playoffs last year before leaving the organization for Milwaukee.

"I've spoken with Jason a couple times. But I didn’t have a lot of questions about what happened and why; just moreso a conversation about becoming a coach and working with players and how to improve the situation as best you can," Fisher said. "I thought Jason did a phenomenal job considering that he came in with no experience. So everybody that I've spoken to, Jason included, the advice is to be yourself, be consistent in who you are, believe in that, trust it and focus on doing your job. That’s what I'm going to try and do."
 3 years ago '04        #11303
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Berman

Former St. John’s standout Orlando Sanchez lived dirt-poor in the Dominican Republic until he was 20. He landed in Westchester to attend Monroe College in New Rochelle for two years, then got his big shot in Queens.

Sanchez is now back in Westchester, and the athletic 6-foot-9 power forward may just stay in Westchester.

As his wild ride that featured a battle with the NCAA over eligibility and a stint on the Dominican Republic’s national team continues, the 26-year-old Sanchez, improbably, will be part of Knicks training camp starting with media day Monday in Tarrytown.

That Sanchez was signed by the Knicks is nothing short of shocking. After a slightly disappointing one-year stint at St. John’s, he wasn’t drafted after a series of pre-draft workouts with NBA teams because of his age, then wasn’t signed to anyone’s summer-league team.

According to a source, Knicks brass considered bringing Sanchez to Las Vegas but didn’t. President Phil Jackson hadn’t seen enough of him. Sanchez, who has a high skill level for a big man, averaged 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Red Storm last season. The Clippers showed interest but never made a summer-league offer.

“Tells you a little something — not that he didn’t get drafted, but wasn’t playing on a summer-league team,’’ one NBA scout said.

After summer league, Allan Houston, general manager of the Knicks’ new D-League affiliate in Westchester, fell in love with Sanchez after watching more tape. He envisioned Sanchez as a skilled big man, perfect for the triangle offense, to develop in Westchester — a player who just needed more coaching. The Knicks will need to fill the 2015-16 roster with a group of minimum-wage players to afford to fit a second superstar.

“He’s been on the Knicks radar for a while because he was at St. John’s,’’ his agent BJ Bass said.

There’s enough highlight plays of Sanchez using quickness and shot fakes to drive to the basket and finish. He also can run the break and hit the mid-range jumper to potentially be a force in Jackson’s and coach Derek Fisher’s triangle. Too often at St. John’s, playing guard, stayed on the periphery and didn’t always show a high motor.

Sanchez, who speaks limited English, has gotten a triangle lesson in the last week since most of the Knicks already are in Tarrytown for voluntary scrimmages.

“I think my game fits the triangle very well,’’ Sanchez told The Post. “I’ve picked it up quickly so far. My ability to shoot, handle and pass shows in this offense. I would like to make the Knicks roster out of camp, but I also understand going to Westchester is a possibility. I think it would be a positive situation, because the team will practice at the Knicks facility and I can develop with the coaching staff.’’

That the Knicks now have their D-League affiliate next door as opposed to in Ohio is a bonus to developing players such as Sanchez. That is why second-round pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo chose to sign with Westchester rather than play for a lot more money in Europe. Nevertheless, Antekumpo can’t attend training camp because if he fails to make the 15-man NBA roster, the Knicks will lose his rights.)

“I wasn’t too worried about not attending summer league,’’ Sanchez said. “Veterans’ camp is the real opportunity to earn a roster spot.’’

Sanchez’s eligibility issues swayed John Calipari, who coached him on the Dominican team, from giving him a scholarship at Kentucky. The NCAA ruled he had no eligibility left.

He played seven games for a club team in Spain, from where he was called home by his financially strapped family to work as a carpenter. He had a brief stint with the DR national team. Add in the two years at Monroe College and Sanchez was out of luck and eligibility. After four months of lawyering and petitions, the NCAA granted him a senior year. His junior year at St. John’s was lost.

“Not playing junior year at St. John’s was very difficult,’’ Sanchez said. “The hardest part was not being able to help my teammates. They were like family.’’

He’s got a new family now — in Westchester.
 3 years ago '04        #11304
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Begley

Iman Shumpert is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. He is eligible to sign a rookie scale extension between now and Oct. 31.

According to league sources, the Knicks haven't had any contact with Shumpert or his representatives about a possible extension.

New York still has about four weeks to start talks with Shumpert, but the feeling here is that it will be content to let him enter next summer as a restricted free agent.

The Knicks are trying to keep their salary commitments at a minimum for the summer of 2015 and 2016, when they hope to be active in free agency.

Inking Shumpert to an extension -- which can be as long as four years -- would eat up cap space for the 2015 and 2016 offseason.

So we a.ssume that the Knicks are willing to forgo the opportunity to extend Shumpert and see what his value will be as a restricted free agent this summer.

To make Shumpert a restricted free agent, the Knicks will have to submit a one-year, $3.7 million qualifying offer to him by June 30. They will then have the opportunity to match any offers Shumpert garners on the open market.

That's all a.ssuming, of course, that the Knicks don't trade Shumpert during the season.

Shumpert was involved in constant trade rumors last year.

The Knicks, according to sources, continued to explore trade possibilities for Shumpert in the offseason but could not find an offer of equal value for their 2011 first-round pick.

The best-case scenario this season -- for both the Knicks and Shumpert -- is that Shumpert thrives in the triangle offense and continues to excel on defense.

If that happens, it will be interesting to see his value as a restricted free agent next summer.

Question: Do you think the Knicks should sign Shumpert to a rookie-scale extension? Or should they let him test free agency next summer?
 3 years ago '08        #11305
AC_89 196 heat pts196
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That went by so quick damn goodbye shump
 09-29-2014, 05:33 AM         #11306
Kitsch 
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I think we should re-sign him but for no more than $7M.

Edit: Boston gave Bradley, $8M a year.


Last edited by Kitsch; 09-29-2014 at 05:38 AM..
 3 years ago '07        #11307
I Am The Truth 1 heat pts
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 Kitsch said:
I think we should re-sign him but for no more than $7M.

Edit: Boston gave Bradley, $8M a year.
I'm with it... $5-7 mil is a fair deal, as long as he does well this year
 3 years ago '07        #11308
Funeral James 24 heat pts24
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I like Shump when he's confident but it might be time to move in a different direction to get where we want to be
 09-29-2014, 08:29 AM         #11309
Kitsch 
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 I Am The Truth said:
I'm with it... $5-7 mil is a fair deal, as long as he does well this year
I have a feeling that if we let him go, we will regret it.
 3 years ago '04        #11310
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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my dude *freeway voice* EARLY! rocking # 17
 3 years ago '04        #11311
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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hopefully the trio at the 2nd unit will use that YOUNG GUNZ moniker (Early, Larkin & TIMMY Jr)
 3 years ago '04        #11312
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Watch #MNF at ClydeFraziersWD and you could win dinner for 2 and tickets to #knicks preseason game on Oct 20th.


Last edited by Born_Loser; 09-29-2014 at 01:01 PM..
 3 years ago '04        #11313
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Begley

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carmelo Anthony said on Monday that he decided to re-sign with the New York Knicks, in part, to take care of "unfinished business."

The Knicks haven't advanced past the second round of the playoffs since trading for Anthony in 2011. They failed to make the postseason last year after winning just 37 games.

Anthony tested free agency over the summer and opted to sign a five-year, $124 million deal with the Knicks.

"I kind of forced my way to New York [in 2011] and I have some unfinished business to take care of," Anthony said Monday during the Knicks' media day. "I wouldn't have felt right from a personal standpoint, just getting up and leaving."

Anthony acknowledged on Monday that some of his other suitors -- such as the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets -- may have given him a better chance to win a title in the immediate future. But Anthony says he is willing to wait through the process of building a championship contender in New York.

"I'm willing to be patient," he said. "Now how long [am] I willing to be patient? I can't tell you that. But I'm willing to be patient, I'm willing to take risks, I'm willing to take that chance."

The Knicks offered Anthony the longest and most lucrative contract in free agency. The Lakers were prepared to offer Anthony a max contract of $97 million over four years. The Bulls did not have enough cap space to make a similar offer, but could have offered Anthony a max contract worth the same as the Lakers via a sign-and-trade.

Anthony reiterated on Monday that he faced a "hard" decision over the summer, particularly because the Knicks appear to be at least one season away from being a serious contender.

"From a basketball standpoint, maybe it wouldn't have been maybe the greatest thing to do [to stay with the Knicks]," Anthony said. "But for me personally, I wouldn't have felt right with myself knowing that I wanted to come here [in 2011]."

Anthony also said that he is optimistic about playing in the triangle offense under new coach Derek Fisher. The offense was a staple of team president Phil Jackson's championship teams in Chicago and Los Angeles.

"I think this new situation, new system will, I think it's going to enhance my game, it's going to enhance my teammates' game. And as a whole we're going to be successful," Anthony said. "My thing is I want to embrace what Phil and Derek are doing. I want them to know that I'm in, I'm embracing this challenge.

"I know from being a student of the game, and watching and knowing the history, that it will work. It takes time. Nothing happens overnight, but it will work. As long as I'm patient with that, then everything else is irrelevant."

Anthony said he's spoken to Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Scottie Pippen and others about the nuances of playing in the triangle offense.

Throughout his career, Anthony has thrived in isolation sets. The triangle, though, is predicated on constant ball and player movement. So there is an a.ssumption that Anthony will have to tweak his approach for the offense to work well.

"The information that I've gotten from them guys, I'm just taking that in, sealing that into a bottle and applying that to my everyday game," Anthony said of his conversations with Jordan, Bryant and Pippen. "That's why ... I'm excited about being in the triangle, I'm excited about coming to the Knicks, I'm excited about the opportunity that we have as a team, being with the new system, being with the new coaches.

"Overall I'm excited and I feel happy again, I feel at ease. Like I said, I have a lot of clarity and I'm in a good place and I can't wait to get it going."
 3 years ago '04        #11314
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Berman

Cleveland? Carmelo Anthony is not quaking in his boots. While Phil Jackson gave a rather lame playoff prediction Friday, Anthony took it a step further on Monday, saying he believes the Knicks “will be there at the end’’ this season, though he is also willing to be patient.

In a Media Day monologue, Anthony also gave his best answer yet on his decision to stick with the Knicks, saying he “wouldn’t have felt right getting up and leaving’’ after “forcing’’ his way to New York in a 2011 trade.

Anthony has a new body, a new regime in Jackson and Derek Fisher and a new positive outlook after spending much of last season’s 37-45 campaign in a state of misery and confusion.

“Anytime you have a new coach, a new energy comes along with that,’’ Anthony said. “You walk around the building and feel that energy. I felt that energy in the offseason. You see everybody is rejuvenated. At the end of the day, we’ll be there at the end. If we’re all in it together, I believe we will be there.’’

The Knicks will gather at West Point Monday night and hold their first practice Tuesday at Christl Arena. Anthony said he saw a different dedication from teammates this summer than he did during the Mike Woodson Era.

“I saw this offseason the amount of time the teammates put in the gym working on what they needed to work on and got with the coaches,’’ Anthony said. “They were all together. Everybody is ready to take the next step and make that change. A new level of focus. You can just see the mindset is a lot different. We still have to put that on the basketball court and have a great training camp. If we do all the right things, we’ll be there at the end.’’

Anthony wouldn’t admit his free agency was a distraction last season, but he sure sounded like his mind is finally clear and easy after re-signing for five years and $124 million and snubbing the Bulls.

Anthony elected not to have a press conference when he re-signed in mid-July, ending months of errant speculation. He has given bits and pieces of information as to why he re-signed despite the club’s uncertain status as a title contender. On Monday, Anthony gave his most honest a.ssessment.

“It wasn’t all about running and jumping ship to get something in the immediate future,’’ Anthony said. “I’m willing to be patient. How long I’m willing to be patient, I can’t tell you that. I’m willing to take that chance. For me to get up and leave like that — now that I look back at it — I wouldn’t have felt right within myself. From a basketball standpoint, it probably would’ve been the greatest thing to do [to bolt for Chicago or Houston]. I wouldn’t have personally have felt right. I forced my way to New York and have some unfinished business to take care of. I wouldn’t have felt right getting up and leaving like that.”

Anthony’s decision to trim his body fat — as much as losing pounds — has given him a sharper mindset.

“More for me, it’s mentally,’’ Anthony said. “My physical makeup, I feel awesome, feel great. I haven’t felt like this from a physical standpoint in a long time. It’s more the mental aspect where I’m going to be better at. I’m at a good place now — a lot of clarity and understanding.’’

He has not mastered the Knicks’ new triangle offense, but feels he’s on his way, saying it should “enhance my game.’’

“I got a good glimpse what the system will be,’’ said Anthony, who has been participating in voluntary scrimmages with his teammates. “And it’s fun. From what I’ve been able to watch and learn, I’ve been here three weeks early working with the guys, asking questions. Not just going out thinking I know it all, being receptive. It’s been great for me. I know it’s not going to happen overnight. My main thing is embrace it, the new regime and new system and along the way have fun.”

And Anthony won’t brand the Cavaliers and their new Big 3 — LeBron James, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving — the heavy Eastern Conference favorites just yet.

“What [LeBron] was able to do in Miami was special,’’ Anthony said. “As far as Cleveland goes, everybody has a clean plate right now. We’re all 0-0. Everybody starts today. We all have the same opportunity and have the same chance to put in the work and see what happens.’’
 3 years ago '04        #11315
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Ohm Youngmisuk

GREENBURGH, N.Y. –- J.R. Smith is looking forward to starting training camp without having to worry about his health or an impending suspension.

“I think it’s definitely a clean slate,” Smith said at Knicks media day on Monday about going into camp this year. “I think it will be a more productive start of the year for me. There’s nothing hanging over my head whether it’s injuries, suspensions stuff like that. So I’m starting out from Day One with my team and it’s a great feeling.”

Last season, Smith came into camp recovering from offseason knee surgery. He also had to serve a five-game suspension to start the season for violating the terms of the NBA's anti-drug program.

Smith got off to a slow start last season, averaging just 11.7 points and 32.8% shooting and 28.6% three-point shooting in the month of November. He averaged 12 points in the months of December and January but slowly started to play better.

“I didn’t feel like I did two years ago until the last 30 games of the year,” said Smith, who really got hot at the end averaging 23.4 points and 46.3% three-point shooting in his last seven games in April.

Head coach Derek Fisher has not committed to a starting five yet. Smith and Iman Shumpert should have a healthy competition in training camp if Fisher opts to start just one of them. Tim Hardaway Jr. also will push for minutes after an impressive rookie season.

Smith, the Sixth Man of the Year in 2012-13, believes he and Shumpert will elevate their games.

“I don’t look at it as a rivalry,” Smith said of the competition with Shumpert. “I think it’s great for the game of basketball. If I don’t push him and he doesn’t push me then we’re both wasting each other’s time. And I don’t think we want to do that.”

“I think we can hit people from three totally different angles,” Smith added of himself, Shumpert and Hardaway Jr. “I think there’s not a team in this league that has what we have at the shooting guard spot and I think that’s very unique ... you should look at it as a dynamic trio like people do with running backs in football.”

Smith, 29, plans to bring a more mature approach after admitting that he made things difficult for himself at times last season. His shoelace antics led to $50,000 in fines.

Having played 10 seasons in the league, Smith doesn’t want to waste the time he has left in his career.

“Just trying to get closer to my goal which is winning an NBA championship, just doing whatever it takes,” Smith said. “Spend meaningful time on the court and not just waste time. Do whatever it takes whether it’s working harder or staying later, preparing, doing whatever it takes to win.”

“In my eyes, it’s a failure if I spend this much time in the league and not win,” he added. “I’ve got some time to make up.”
 09-29-2014, 06:30 PM         #11316
Kitsch 
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[video - click to view]


 3 years ago '04        #11317
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Berman

There were none of the usual big boasts from Amar’e Stoudemire. His health speaks for itself.

“It’s great to finally go through a summer where I can just work on basketball — maintain and build strength,’’ Stoudemire said at Knicks Media Day on Monday. “The previous two summers was pretty much rehab.’’

At owner James Dolan’s urging, the Knicks shut Stoudemire down last summer after a minor knee procedure and wouldn’t let him rehab until training camp began in order to keep his legs fresh. As a result, Stoudemire began the 2013-14 season on a 10-minute cap and was banned from playing in back-to-back games. Dolan’s medical staff treated Stoudemire like a plate of glass.

When Stoudemire was finally allowed to be unleashed, coach Mike Woodson stuck him into the starting lineup at power forward and he wreaked damage on the court — not to his knees. In the final 20 games — all starts — as the Knicks surged, Stoudemire was a key reason, averaging 15.7 points on 57.5 percent shooting and stout defense.

New coach Derek Fisher won’t name his prospective starters, but Stoudemire is a good bet to line up alongside Carmelo Anthony up front — just the way Dolan once envisioned when he traded for Anthony in 2011 to pair with Stoudemire.

During the offseason, Stoudemire told The Post he was aiming to return to the All-Star Game as a player.

“It was a positive step,’’ Stoudemire said of his down-the-stretch play. “To capitalize on minutes played in a starting role, it played an intricate part of my success the second half of the year. Hopefully we can build on that.’’

Nothing’s ever certain with Stoudemire’s knees — both of which have undergone multiple surgeries. He’ll still be on a minutes restriction — likely in the 32-minute range. That’s where he topped out late last season.

“We got to 30, 35 minutes,’’ Stoudemire said. “I’m sure Coach Fisher and I will figure out something [that is] going to be beneficial for both of us. Having the year I had last year was positive. Building up strength, hopefully allows me to play more this season.’’

The offenses Stoudemire has played the past few seasons increased his versatility as a scorer. He had played in Mike D’Antoni’s speed-ball, pick-and-roll attack for so long, but Woodson ordered Stoudemire to work with Hakeem Olajuwon and turned him into a post-up player. Now he’s in the triangle, where he will show even more versatility.

Stoudemire has worked out a lot with a.ssistant coach Kurt Rambis, who has showed him “so many ways on the basketball court I can take advantage of my personal skill set in the triangle.

“I’m optimistic,’’ Stoudemire said. “I’ve been able to develop certain skill sets throughout the whole situation and now I feel everything’s going to come to fruition this season.’’

The only summer disappointment was that Stoudemire, who owns a pro team in Jerusalem, canceled his July trip to Israel — where he was to unveil a new basketball academy — because of unrest there. Stoudemire, who has talked of playing for his Israeli team after his contract expires this summer, said the academy’s opening has been postponed until next summer.
 3 years ago '04        #11318
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Fred Kerber

For many Knicks fans, Jose Calderon is being — and already has been — embraced at point guard because he’s not Raymond Felton.

But to others, Calderon is being embraced because he’s, well, Jose Calderon.

“His numbers speak for themselves,” Carmelo Anthony said. “The way he’s able to run a team, the way he’s able to shoot the basketball lights out, his a.ssist-to-turnover ratio is like no other.”

“He understands the game, he sees everything, and he is a willing passer,” said Samuel Dalembert, who arrived with Calderon from the Mavericks in the trade for Tyson Chandler. “There is no ego, there is nothing, just go out there and try to win.”

So Knicks fans have substance in their willingness to accept Calderon, and not simply because he replaces prime booing target Felton. Calderon is a pass-first, hit every (or almost every) free throw, terrific shooting, smart point guard. He enters his 10th NBA season, 7 ½ seasons spent in Toronto, as a career 10.2 scorer and 6.8 a.ssist guy. Every season, he was in the top 20 in a.ssists-to-turnovers.

And Calderon, who turned 33 Sunday, is as excited to be a Knick and adapt to the triangle offense as the Knicks are to have him.

“It helps just to be able to learn the system [together],” Calderon said at Media Day on Monday. “It’s going to be about where you’re going to be, finding a spot, trying to get everybody in the right places and just share the ball. Find the open guy. If you’re open shoot the ball. Just try to make it as easy as possible. If we’re sharing the ball and you pass the ball first, your teammate is going to pass it to you. We have to get that into our minds and try to play as a team. We can be a really good team.

“The system is going to be trying to share the ball, try to reposition everybody. I like that. I’m the pass-first point guard. I’m going to try to get everybody involved like I’ve been doing for a while.

“The system fits me well.”
 3 years ago '04        #11319
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,259 | Props total: 3782 3782
Berman

Everything seems better about Italy’s Andrea Bargnani — even his English.

Last season with the Knicks turned into a mess for Bargnani, who partially tore the ulnar nerve in his left elbow in late January. He elected not to have surgery but never made it back, his season shortened to 42 games.

Team president Phil Jackson is the latest to try to turn Bargnani into a stud and tap his potential in the triangle as a deft-shooting big man. Problem is, Bargnani was a disappointment from 3-point range in his first season as a Knick. The former No. 1 overall pick shot just 27.8 percent from behind the arc and also struggled learning the defensive rotations.

“The elbow is fine,’’ Bargnani said. “It was a tricky injury. It was my priority this summer to get healthy.’’

Bargnani said it only has been “a couple of months’’ he can say the elbow is “100 percent fine.

“I just got to get back in game shape and rhythm,’’ he said. “Everyone wants to show they are better than last year.’’

Jackson has touted Bargnani in the triangle.

“The triangle offense is very effective and I can’t wait to start learning everything about it,’’ Bargnani said.

Bargnani seemed more relaxed Monday on the podium than at any time last season. The 2013-14 season marked the first time he was with a different NBA club than the Raptors. He also is reunited with a close former Toronto buddy in Jose Calderon.

Bargnani was upset when Calderon was traded from Toronto to Detroit in 2013.

Carmelo Anthony said not enough focus is on the Knicks’ quest to better their atrocious defense from last season.

“We want to be good — Derek Fisher is preaching that,’’ Anthony said. “Everybody is talking about the new triangle system. The challenge for us is how we want to be on the defensive end. Last season we were 24th of 30 from a defensive ranking. That’s not acceptable. We will improve on that. We will focus on it and our coaching staff will focus on it.’’

Mike Woodson’s switch-on-everything D was met with disapproval from Anthony and the departed Tyson Chandler. Iman Shumpert said he’s unsure of Fisher’s system but the coach has already preached to the defensive-minded guard that he “gambles’’ too much.

Calderon on his Team Spain’s early quarterfinal ouster in the World Cup: “We didn’t get as far as we wanted to,’’ he said. “We got a little bit more rest than I’d like to. But I feel healthy.’’… Anthony on second-round rookie Cleanthony Early: “I’m very excited to see Cleanthony on the court. In my eyes he was a steal in this year’s draft.’’
 3 years ago '04        #11320
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,259 | Props total: 3782 3782
Berman

J.R. Smith grew up not so far away, in Freehold, NJ, but had never stepped foot on the post of West Point. Nor has he ever been in this sort of regimented environment.

Smith wasn’t offended by the suggestion he was out of place – the NBA’s perennial rules-breaker amid an environment suffocated by rules.

“Honestly, it is an honor,’’ Smith said Tuesday after Derek Fisher’s first Knicks training-camp practice at Army’s Christl Arena. “I have never really been around situations like this, the self-discipline, the mentality that you have to have to be in a group like this at West Point. Being on the outside looking in, it seems extremely difficult, so the hour or two hours that we are here on the court, that should be an easy cake walk.’’

Could Smith have been a cadet, with the dawn-hour inspections at the barracks?

“I definitely don’t think I could do it,’’ Smith said. “Wake up at 5 a.m., go to sleep at 6 p.m. I don’t think that works with my schedule. That is a different lifestyle.’’

Smith was astounded to see the armed patrols at the security gates. After all, it is a college.

“I made it through security,’’ Smith said. “I was like, ‘Hey, man, I come in peace, I don’t want no problems over here.’ Dude had his big AK-47. Yeah, OK, if you are good with me, I am good with you.’’

President Phil Jackson compared Smith to Dennis Rodman in an interview last week with The Post’s Steve Serby. No offense taken.

“Last time I checked Dennis Rodman got what, 3, 4 rings?’’ Smith said. “I’m not offended by that. It’s an honor. He’s a Hall of Famer. And to be put in the same words as a Hall of Famer is something special. Not offended at all. He worked hard and he tried to do his job at all points and all times.’’

Smith will do his exploring of the campus and interact with the cadets.

“I got a lot of questions,” Smith said. “I want to see how it is like. I want to see how the hell they are doing it. Because I don’t know if I can do it.”
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