Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Knicks Practice Update

Yesterday, the Knicks wanted to hold practice because of all of the time off they have coming up, but couldn't due to some CBA rules. The Knicks play the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow night, but then have off until Sunday afternoon when they play the Boston Celtics. Given the team's lack of chemistry and playing time together, this week makes for an excellent time to get to know one another and develop said chemistry before a grueling March schedule.

Luckily for us, many beat writers have been updating on the Knicks practice today! Take the jump for some notes on what those orange and blue rascals are up to!

A problem that Mike D'Antoni currently faces (a good problem, but a problem nonetheless) with this team is that their are eleven or twelve guys that deserve playing time: Chandler, Amar'e, Melo, Fields, Lin, Baron Davis, J.R. Smith, Jeffries, Novak, Shumpert, Josh Harrellson, and Bill Walker, depending on who you ask. It seems Walker will be out of the rotation now, but that is still quite the conglomerate of folks who produce good things on the court. These new few days of mini training camp will go a long way in deciding what groups play well, and if a certain player's strengths outweighs another player's.

  • The best bit of news is that everyone seems to be relatively healthy! Josh Harrellson is indeed back, as is Iman Shumpert. Both seem healthy enough to play.
  • Tyson Chandler is still a bit beat up with a bone bruise, but is also healthy enough to play.
  • According to Alan Hahn, the team looks pretty sloppy, but that's to be expected. Especially when these guys haven't played before and they're only practicing.
  • Amar'e Stoudemire reiterated that he's been sluggish because of all the time he had to take to heal his back this summer. Apparently he's also trying to shed some of the weight that he added this summer. It sounds like he's going to try and get his explosiveness back and that he and Mike D'Antoni both have confidence that he'll have a strong second half. Fingers crossed/ knock on wood/ pajamas inside out/ banana peels on the head/ whatever you do for good luck, just do it!  
  • The team's work on some great get-to-know-each-other drills at the beginning of practice. First, they passed each other the ball, and when they caught it they had to say their name and something about themselves. According to writers, when J.R. Smith caught the ball, he said "Earl. Legos."
  • Mike Bibby and Jerome Jordan are trust-fall partners.

That's about it. The Knicks play tomorrow night, but they'll have more time to practice after that, so no need to fret. Hopefully some good things are forming!

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