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Friday, July 25, 2014

Interview with Howard Beck (10/12/2010)

Looking for more information on the Knicks this early in the season, I picked up the phone and called Howard Beck of the New York Times. He spent 17 minutes and 33 seconds answering questions about the team.

Mike Kurylo: What’s the mood of the team?

Howard Beck: It’s not easy to detect right now. It’s so early. I think they’re still trying to feel each other out. If you ask they’re all trying to be optimistic, and feeling like they’re in the early stages of something good here. The mood is a hard thing to put their finger on when they’ve only played 2 preseason games and have been in camp for only a couple of weeks. As we’ve all pointed out numerous times – it’s a completely new team, so they’re still trying to feel each other out and figure out what their (team) identity is. It’s early so every team is feeling optimistic and feeling like there are some good days ahead. But with it being so early, it’s just hard to put a label on the Knicks.

Mike Kurylo: How different is this from teams of previous years? Where any of them this optimistic?

Howard Beck: The cliche of October is that everybody feels great about their chances, but with the Knicks it was within a narrow zone of “Hey this year we might get to 35 wins.” This year the difference is a new beginning. The last 5-6 years here, at a minimum, you couldn’t say anything was a new beginning. They had these fake new beginnings, false hopes pinned to “we just got Stephon Marbury” or “we just got Eddy Curry” or “we just got Zach Randolph” and it was always some false promise of a franchise player that couldn’t really lift the franchise. This is the first time the Knicks actually have a true franchise player, someone who is among the best in the league at his position and overall, with Amar’e Stoudemire. So that makes it different. For the first time the players who are still here, and there are only a handful of them, have someone that they can look at and say “that’s our guy”, “that’s our leader”, “he’s not only going to be our leading scorer, but he’s going to be our spiritual leader, our team leader, our morale leader; the guy who sets the tone every day.” So that’s a huge change, because they haven’t had anyone who remotely resembles that in years.

On the other hand since 10 of these guys weren’t even here last year, it’s not the same guys that are coming in, it’s completely new guys. These guys aren’t carrying the burdens of the Stephon Marbury-Isiah Thomas era. Roger Mason, Ronnie Turiaf, Raymond Felton, and Amar’e Stoudemire – they don’t carry the weight of the Knicks misery from the last 5 years. And that’s positive. They don’t have to worry about what the franchise (has been recently). These guys were brought in by Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh to be part of their team, going forward. The last several camps were characterized by guys who were going to be purged or were brought in solely for the purpose for their contract to expire. So the emotional investment of (this year’s team) are deeper.

Mike Kurylo: Speaking of Amar’e – is he really going to play the 4 exclusively, primarily, or occasionally? What’s your take from what you’ve seen in practice?

Howard Beck: That’s a great question because over the last week or so, watching Turiaf struggle a little bit and watching Mozgov flash between promising and foul prone I’ve been thinking about that same thing. And I’ll ask Mike D’Antoni about that today when I get there. In Phoenix, the Suns were widely successful with Amar’e as their so-called undersized/non-traditional center, and I don’t know why the Knicks can’t be successful as well. I think they have to (try) a banger/traditional center next to Amar’e to help him out and keep him out of foul trouble. But I think there is a lot of merit of playing it the Suns way – which is go undersized at every position and just outrun the other team up and down the court. You know there are only a few true centers who are scoring centers in the league anyway, so it’s not as if Amar’e Stoudemire is going to just sit there every night and get banged on by low-post/back-you-down centers. There just aren’t many of them anymore. I think we’ll end up seeing Stoudemire at the 5 a lot, but I think Mike D’Antoni doesn’t want to start that way. He’s inclined to, if he can, keep Amar’e at his natural position.

Mike Kurylo: Let’s talk about one of the guys you mentioned: Mozgov. He looks like a foul machine out there. He’s a big guy that’s very agile for his size, but how is the team working on that? Do they have refs at practice?

Howard Beck: Aside from the occasional scrimmage when you bring in refs, it doesn’t happen much. Most guys have to learn on the fly in exhibition games. He’s got 6 games left, so that’s a lot of time for him to get acclimated and work out all the kinks…

Mike Kurylo: … right, he’s got 36 fouls…

Howard Beck: Exactly, and he’ll use 30 of them, which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but you hope his foul rate will go down as he progresses. So if this is a question of his athleticism or his positioning or his technique, I’m not sure I know the answer to that question after two games. But clearly if they want him as their starting center, fouls are the primary area of concern. They know what he can do skill wise. They know he can shoot. They know he can rebound a little and block some shots. They know he can get up and down the court and finish on the break. So can he stay on the floor? Can he not put the other team at the foul line? They still have 6 games to figure that out.

Mike Kurylo: One of the things that D’Antoni talked about was the ability to go 9, 10, or 11 players deep in the rotation. Do you see that as being a reality?

Howard Beck: I think it’s realistic in the sense that he’s got a lot of players who are about even. In the past they were about even because unfortunately they were all equally mediocre. Right now they have some guys with good intriguing qualities about them. So it’s about how you want to go about it. How often you want to go big or go small. Whether you want to go with two point guard/play-makers in the back court. If you want to go with shooters. There’s a lot of ways they can go and most of these guys deserve playing time. Landry Fields had such a good summer league and training camp that he’s pushed his way into the conversation too.

It comes down to when D’Antoni feels he needs to go 11 deep to keep up the pace and keep his guys fresh. And whether the guys who look like they deserve playing time continue to earn it. But you can make the case for probably 11 guys right now off the bat based on their experience or skill set or whether there’s a certain guy you need in a game (situation). I think it’s quite possible (to have a deep rotation). It sounds like he’s committed (to trying) if all those guys are earning the time.

Mike Kurylo: Let’s talk about Anthony Randolph for a second. He looks like to be an inefficient scorer. What does the coaching staff think of him? Is he a starter?

Howard Beck: He’s not a starter yet, because first it’s not clear what position he would start at. He’s got some really intriguing abilities that would make him a 3, 4 or 5 depending on who is around him. Right now the priority or concern is whether they have enough shooting on the floor. With him out there alongside the starters guys are going to cheat off of him to play Amar’e. The thing with this coaching staff, and you heard it with David Lee all the time who went from a banger to a person with a knock down jump shot, the coaching staff believes in guys and allows them to do their thing. And if they’re trying to learn or become a shooter they’re not going to yank him if he misses one or two. I think during the season Randolph might have a little less latitude. But right now during the preseason I don’t think it’s a problem for Anthony Randolph to go out there and say “look I’ve worked on my jumpshot all summer, I’m trying to get it down, it’s going down for me in practice, and I want to shoot the open shot.” He should. The coaching staff always encourages these players to shoot the open shot as long as it’s in the flow of the offense, to take the opportunities. Eventually he’s got to start making them, but that’s how you get the confidence that you can do it. A lot of guys get the mechanics down and can make them in practice but they can’t do it in the game. That’s mental, that’s nerves, or a lot of other things. Maybe the same transformation Amar’e Stoudemire or David Lee did (in developing a jump shot) Anthony Randolph can make. And if he can, he can be a fantastic weapon out there. But that remains to be seen.

Mike Kurylo: You mentioned the word ‘shooting’, which reminds me of the Knicks’ shooting guard situation. Chandler has been the default guy for a few seasons even though he probably fits more of a forward’s build. There seems to be a lot of competition this year, even though Azubuike is hurt and isn’t playing. How is that position shaping out?

Howard Beck: It’s an intriguing group because they’re all very different. Wilson Chandler got the nod initially because he’s one of the few returning guys, knows the system and he played almost the entire season at shooting guard last year and did alright. The nice thing of having him there is as long as he can stay with his man – he’s 6-8 and strong with long arms and he can harass guys – (he’s a) defensive presence and can be a real asset. His jump shot and his three point shot are unreliable enough to be a concern. It depends on what your priorities are. If you’re priority is shooting then Roger Mason is an accomplished shooter, although a little undersized. If you like Wilson’s size and defensive abilities and his length then you put him out there.

This is goes back to the Amar’e Stoudemire question, because if you put him at center Wilson Chandler can be your power forward. D’Antoni said power forward was his best position. He likes him in the post and he likes his strength inside. I don’t know if you get enough rebounding from him, but if he’s at the 4 and Gallo is at the 3, now the 2 is open for one of your more natural shooters like Roger Mason or when healthy Azubuike. And Azubuike is the sleeper here. I think if he were healthy from day 1, then he’s the best fit at shooting guard. Not because he’s necessarily a much better player than Wilson Chandler, they’re different, but Azubuike is a better shooter and if you look at what he’s done his first couple of seasons, he could become their Raja Bell. Hit the open three and defend. Those are Azubuike’s strengths. If he were healthy, and maybe when he gets healthy, he’s the best fit there.

Mike Kurylo: I only have time for one more question, so here you go: Who is the starting five on Christmas Day?

Howard Beck: Wow. (chuckle) Two games into the preseason and I have to predict the lineup for Christmas Day. I’m just gong to go on a whim here, with a few impulsive judgments that I wouldn’t normally make. Amar’e Stoudemire at center, Wilson Chandler at power forward, Danilo Gallinari at small forward, a healthy Kelenna Azubuike at shooting guard, and Raymond Felton at point guard.

68 comments on “Interview with Howard Beck (10/12/2010)

  1. Sparks with Starks

    Nice interview as usual.

    That starting 5 scared me though. I hate to think how bad our rebounding and interior defense would be with Amar’e as our predominant center and Chandler as our main PF.

  2. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Sparks with Starks: Nice interview as usual.That starting 5 scared me though. I hate to think how bad our rebounding and interior defense would be with Amar’e as our predominant center and Chandler as our main PF.  

    Would be much better with Randolph in lieu of Chandler, no?

  3. Nick C.

    It would seem so. Wouldn’t Chandler be better suited to the bench in so much as he is competent but not ideal at 3 positions (2, 3, 4) or at least once Azu comes back.

  4. ess-dog

    Yeah, I can’t even remember having seen Chandler defend the post, so I have no idea what he’d do there. Maybe D’Antoni sees Chandler as a Marion type, but with three other more talented pf’s (if you include Gallo) it would seem like an unusual choice.

    I would like to see this five just out of sheer curiosity: Amare, Chandler, Fields, Walker, Felton. You could replace Chandler or Amare with Randolph and/or Felton with Douglas and that would be a crazy fast, athletic lineup. I can’t remember a Knicks team with so many great athletes actually.

    I like Beck. He seems like he has a good feel for the locker room mood and how the staff feels about certain guys. Great interview. I would’ve liked to hear some of his thoughts on Felton and how he would eventually work in the system. It’s probably my biggest concern right now. But of course, the Mosgov thing is totally fascinating. Can he come in and be a starter on opening day?

  5. Sparks with Starks

    Mike Kurylo: Would be much better with Randolph in lieu of Chandler, no?  (Quote)

    Yeah, I think that’s got to be the hope. Certainly there’s been a lot of hype around this guy for a while so it’d be nice for him to live up to it and become a real rising star this year.

  6. stratomatic

    Mike Kurylo: Would be much better with Randolph in lieu of Chandler, no?  (Quote)

    I think the key to the season may be figuring out how to get Randolph on the court at the same time as Amare and Gallo for as many minutes as possible.

    IMO, Turiaf is not enough of a rebounder or offensive threat to be comfortable with as the starting C.

    Until Mosgov demonstrates he can stay on the court for more than 15 minutes without fouling out and also rebound well for a C, he’s also more of a backup.

    Randolph is the only player that can give us a lot of minutes, 10 rebounds per 36, shot blocking, and enough offense to not only not be a liability, but as asset. We’ll have to deal with some boneheaded shots and mistakes, but he has to learn eventually anyway.

    The more I’ve analyzed the team the less optimistic about the season I have become.

    Even though Amare is a longer, more athletic, and better scorer than Lee, the rest of the boxscore suggests that Lee is the better all around player (rebounding, playmaking, turnovers etc…) Unless Amare turns out to be a much better defender than Lee, I think this could actually be a sideways move.

    The Felton that played last year will almost certainly be an upgrade over the Duhon that played last year, but if you look at their longer term stats, if last year was an exception for either or both, then this is nothing more than a very mild upgrade at best.

    So where is all this hoped for improvement going to come?

    Maybe we can get some extra wins relative to last year from the development of Gallo, Chandler, and Douglas, but we are losing Nate for part of the year too. I like Fields a lot and even Rautins is showing signs, but they aren’t likely to be big contributors.

    To me, it’s all about Randolph.

    IMO Randolph has the potential to become a massive upgrade over guys like Harrington or Jeffries etc…. and contribute 5-10 wins by himself because of the rebounding, shot blocking, and offense etc…

  7. DS

    I think current expectations are a little too high for Randolph this season.

    I think there’s too much impatience for him to become an All-Star now and IMHO, he needs to make a smaller, definitive step forward from his role w. the Warriors first. If he tries to do too much right away I think it will be bad for the Knicks’ on court chemisty and bad for AR’s development. The Knicks’ staff and AR should decide that he is going play a steady 20-25 mins as a super sub. Fortunately, I think this the approach the team seems to be taking and the noise about this year being a huge breakout year is mainly being made by the media and fans.

  8. Z-man

    Harrington was not an ideal player, but he at times carried the team offensively. Randolph is nowhere near as good on offense as Al at this point, and vice versa on D, so I don’t see much overall difference at first, other than in salary, which is a huge plus for AR. Hopefully AR will quickly develop into a better offensive player and a much better overall player than Harrington, but he’s not there quite yet. Jeffries is another story (a sad one for us!)

  9. Z

    Thanks Mike. Just as actors really want to direct, and pitchers really want to hit, all interviewers, deep down, really just want to be interviewed. Picking Beck’s brain was a great idea!

  10. stratomatic

    Perhaps expectations for Randolph are too high for this year, but if they are and he can’t deliver, IMHO the Knicks don’t have much of a chance to make the playoffs unless they get a huge upside surprise from someone else.

    He doesn’t have to be an allstar this year, but if we can deliver 15-20 points per 36, 10 rebounds per 36, a good inside presence, and some improvment in his scoring efficiency, that’s not that far above what he did for GS in low minutes. He just has to stay healthy, improve a little offensively, and give us the minutes.

    I don’t think Harrington is such a bad player, but IMO he’s a way below average PF because he doesn’t rebound well or provide any defensive presence/shot blocking. His offense is OK, but even there he’s only a hair above average. I think Randolph could be a huge upgrade just for his boards and shot blocking ability.

  11. JK47

    Randolph’s jumper is a real eyesore. Getting him to stop chucking from outside is going to be key if this guy is going to have a successful career. If he’d just stop shooting the jumper and concentrated on driving to the hoop and going after offensive rebounds you’d have to think he could average an efficient double-double. Unfortunately, I think it will take a while to break him of his guard-like habits.

  12. Z

    stratomatic:
    I don’t think Harrington is such a bad player, but IMO he’s a way below average PF because he doesn’t rebound well or provide any defensive presence/shot blocking. His offense is OK, but even there he’s only a hair above average…   

    Yeah, but his passing is other worldly.

  13. rama

    strat – I agree with you that STAT is not a huge upgrade over Lee, nor is Felton much over Duhon (though I hope it’s more than marginal), but the reasons for optimism are two things that don’t really show up in box scores:

    Defense
    Attitude
    Chemistry

    Defensively, every player is better. Mozgov/Turiaf are better than Lee. Amare is better than Al. Gallo is healthier and more mobile. Chandler is healthier and has already proven to be a plus defender. Felton is stronger and quicker than Duhon and is widely regarded as one of the best defensive PGs in the league. Last year we got killed in the paint and Duhon was a master of Matador D. Those issues will not at all be issues this year.

    Attitude was hugely affected last year by the cap situation and expiring deals. Whatever D’Antoni’s weaknesses, he was dealt a bad hand with a roster of players who KNEW they weren’t going to be around the following year. This team has been selected (except Chandler, who is apparently much liked by the coaches, and Curry, who is just a contract at this point) by the current regime, and most of them know they’ll be here next year, too. That reality will make it easier to buy into the system. Beyond that, as Beck points out, Amare is a leader. He wants to put the team on his shoulders, and has earned enough respect with his performance that they will look to him to lead. He also comes from a winning culture, so seems likely to lead vocally and spiritually and not just by example. Those two elements mean that the team should be, well, a real team this year.

    Chemistry may seem like a redundant term after discussing ‘attitude,’ but what I mean is that the players are complementary in a way the roster has not been in the past. These players weren’t just brought in by the current regime; they were brought in to fit with each other. Turiaf, Mozgov to address the 5, Felton to fit a faster tempo push-it-up attack, shooters like Mason, Walker, Buke to add an outside threat to Amare’s dominant post game. Chemistry is everyone knowing their role and not trying to do too much. I doubt it will be apparent until the New Year, but by then this deep team should have a sense of itself and each player should know what part of the mission he is responsible for.

    So, yes, on paper, each player isn’t substantially better at his position than last year…but paper can’t measure any of the aspects of the game above. That’s why I predict a rough start and a strong finish for the team, a .500 record or so, and the playoffs.

  14. Frank O.

    Interesting interview, Mike

    It’s quite obvious that it will take some time, I’d bet a third of the regular season, for this team to form an identity and to determine the front five and the next three or four off the bench.
    I am intrigued by the thought of running Amare, Randolph, Gallo, Azu and Felton, or Douglas and Felton.
    I found it interesting that he referred to it as going small, given the length across the board. Sure, there’s no 7-footer, but you’ve got a couple 6’10 guys and a 6’11 guy in the front court. Of course, they’re a bit skinny, but I don’t see many centers in the NBA who would harm them that much. And when there are big scoring centers, you can use Mosgov and Turiaf to burn up 12 fouls, in addition to your starter at C.

    But in my heart of hearts, I think Mosgov is the most intriguing piece on the board. He can shoot, he knows how to rebound and block shots. He’s not stupid, judging from the reports. He’s athletic and runs the floor well. At 7’1, that’s pretty hard to find.
    If they can improve his defensive technique, which is very teachable, he becomes very, very important.
    Having a formidable center makes the rest of the team so much better, and could have a comparable impact to a sound point guard. He can give you defensive boards, cover up defensive breakdowns, create second chances, and free up Amare on the break.

    I realize, among the unknowns, Felton’s play likely will have the biggest impact on whether this is a successful season or a bust. But Mosgov’s play, and he has a lot of unknowns too, will be a close second, IMHO.

  15. Nick C.

    JK47 you are hoping for a Josh Smith like awakening by Randoph…its possible I can’t really say that being in or out of Nellies doghouse these past few years is indicative of anyhting as that team has not ha much of a steady rotation for several years and most if not all of its revolvign door has been at odds with Nellie.

  16. rama

    Sparks, Z was joking. Al was like the Roach Motel – the ball goes in to him, but it never comes out. None of us will miss his spinning/falling move to the hoop where he throws it over the backboard. Or the games he will cost us by hanging on the rim for a tech when we will a narrow lead and little time left in the game.

  17. rama

    Whoops – that’s, “Or the games he will cost us by hanging on the rim for a tech when we have a narrow lead and little time left in the game.”

  18. Ted Nelson

    re: AR expectations…

    I think they may be a little high (people calling his floor DPOY Marcus Camby or Josh Smith… and he’s got a good chance to be KG like…), but the people who are most likely to be disappointed are the ones who think PPG are the only stat of any importance (and the people who think a few blocks a game make you an incredible defender). People who look at the game in a more comprehensive way are going to see a lot they like, though they’ll also probably be quite frustrated at times. If your expectations are more or less “promising young player who helps the team in various ways” I think there’s a good chance you will not be disappointed, but even that is not assured… If you think he’s ready to break out and become the next KG… chances are good that you’ll be disappointed.

    Sparks with Starks: Randolph is a very highly regarded passer.  

    I think the remark about Harrington’s passing was sarcastic… He’s actually a pretty average playmaker, but people on the board hated how much be shot (despite the fact that he scored efficiently).

    AR has a good amount of potential as a passer/playmaker, but it hasn’t really shown up too much in NBA games. Hopefully that changes.

  19. Ted Nelson

    stratomatic: a good inside presence, and some improvment in his scoring efficiency, that’s not that far above what he did for GS in low minutes. He just has to stay healthy, improve a little offensively, and give us the minutes.

    The big thing that I think one misses in only looking at his stats is that he was not a good defender. Sure, he blocked some shots… but he was nothing near an “inside presence” in GS. This is where I think even a lot of knowledgeable people on this board are overrating him. He has the potential to be a versatile, plus defender as early as this season, but it’s going to take a big improvement over what he was doing in GS… not just more of the same.

  20. Ted Nelson

    rama: None of us will miss his spinning/falling move to the hoop where he throws it over the backboard.

    I’m not expecting to particularly miss Harrington, but 21 pts/36 at a .546 TS% is not someone who threw the ball over the backboard too often… He was effective in his role as a scorer. It was his other limitations and the limitations of others in other roles that hurt the team. If the Knicks had an otherwise strong rotation and were just asking Al to come in for some scoring punch, I don’t think it would have been a real problem (there would have been trade-offs, but he got the scoring job done).

    DS: The Knicks’ staff and AR should decide that he is going play a steady 20-25 mins as a super sub.

    I also think some people are getting their expectations too high, but I think you are setting the expectations too low. He played 23 mpg last season in GS… how is 20-25 mpg a step forward? If he can’t become a solid fixture in the rotation, I would consider him a bit of a disappointment this season.
    It’s a new season, but… WS played 36 mpg last season. Danilo played 34. Barron played 33. Duhon played 31. Jeffries played 28. Walker played 27.5… I’d like to see Randolph’s role with this season’s team be substantially bigger than the one a T-Mac or Eddie House played on last season’s team. The Knicks have better players, but they still don’t have many very good players ahead of AR. If he’s competing for minutes with Walker and the lesser of Turiaf/Timo and Fields instead of Gallo and WC and the greater of Turiaf/Timo… that’s a disappointment for me.

  21. DS

    Ted, I just want to see Randolph show that he can do the job as a sub before he is promoted to huge minutes. I think there is a risks that AR could take a Nate Robinson-esque approach in which he thinks he needs to too much on offense and ends up in MDA’s doghouse for being overzealous.

    To begin the season, I think 20 – 25 minutes per game WOULD make him a solid fixture in the rotation, especially a rotation that may go 10 – 11 players deep. Randolph did average 22 mpg last season but it was for only 33 games during which his minutes were pretty unsteady.

  22. DS

    Said differently, I think Felton, Gallo, and Amar’e have to set the rhythm and it’s important for the rest of the team (the young guys) to conform to the system as they each continue develop their individual skill sets. And I just think that’s especially true for Randolph.

  23. rama

    Ted – “I’m not expecting to particularly miss Harrington, but 21 pts/36 at a .546 TS% is not someone who threw the ball over the backboard too often… He was effective in his role as a scorer. It was his other limitations and the limitations of others in other roles that hurt the team.”

    Fair enough, but the problem was that he didn’t seem to be aware of his limitations enough not to cause problems at inopportune moments. No, he wasn’t a stiff, but don’t you remember that particular play where he literally did spin, fall, and shoot over the backboard (or off it)? There were times he tried to play beyond his role and take over the game, and he was as ill-equipped to do it as Crawford was the year earlier.

    By and large, I was OK with Fraggle Al. He did seem to play hard, and at times he was electric. But it just seemed that much of the time, in the end, he tried to do more than he could/should and ended up losing the game for us. I can think of four games he lost when it was late and close. Even Kobe or MJ or other famed closers are going to blow it once in a while, but as much as Al could shoot you into a game, he was certain to shoot you out of it sometimes as well.

    Either way, I wish him well. And David Lee, and Nate, even Jeffries. They all endured too much misery in NYC.

  24. Ted Nelson

    DS: I think there is a risks that AR could take a Nate Robinson-esque approach in which he thinks he needs to too much on offense and ends up in MDA’s doghouse for being overzealous.

    If AR clashes with D’Antoni the way Nate seemed to and AR seemed to with Nelson… I think he’ll be in the “doghouse” (rightly or wrongly) whether he’s playing 20 mpg or 30 mpg. I don’t think minutes and role are that closely aligned. Your role in the offense is not defined by how many times you get the ball/score/make a play/get an offensive rebound per game, but rather on a per possession basis. An Eddie House might not play many minutes, but the minutes he gets he’s in there to shoot the ball. Otherwise he has no purpose on the court. A Bruce Bowen might play a ton of minutes and take only a few wide open shots.

    AR’s value is not primarily derived from his scoring, and if he’s on the court with Amare, Gallo, TD… I hope his role is as a limited scorer contributing in other ways, while scoring on easy baskets created within the offense. D’Antoni has talked about using him on Rondo and Perkins in the same game, not about his scoring prowess.

    I don’t think you can protect AR from himself by limiting his minutes. *If* he needs to be protected from himself, his NBA future is not as bright as if he’s “coachable.” His play might, however, limit his minutes. I hope that’s not the case to a high degree, though I also don’t expect 40 mpg. If he’s not beating out WC and/or Turiaf for minutes… I see that as a problem.

    DS: o begin the season, I think 20 – 25 minutes per game WOULD make him a solid fixture in the rotation, especially a rotation that may go 10 – 11 players deep.

    I don’t think D’Antoni will actually use that deep a rotation. If he does there will likely be multiple tiers: a few “core” guys will still play heavy minutes with peripheral guys being used situationally. I’d like to see AR be a core guy, and not a peripheral guy.

    DS: I think Felton, Gallo, and Amar’e have to set the rhythm and it’s important for the rest of the team (the young guys) to conform to the system as they each continue develop their individual skill sets.

    Here I disagree. Amare and Gallo? Sure. They should be the primary scorers. Felton? No. He’s not good, especially not as a scorer. I *hope* TD cuts into his minutes. Why the huge difference between Gallo’s age, though, and AR who is a year younger and just as NBA experienced and WC who is a year older with another year in the league? Azu is not that young. Turiaf is not that young. Mason is not that young.

    Again, I think you are confusing role with minutes. It often happens that the guys who play the most minutes are the best scorers and overall players. However, you can also have a Bruce Bowen or Ben Wallace who plays a lot of minutes and barely scores. If AR gets a lot of minutes it doesn’t mean he has to score a lot of points. He can contribute in other ways and score on shots he’s comfortable with (which should be a lot more shots than a Wallace or Bowen, but a lot less than an Amare).

  25. DS

    Ted, I think most of us are hoping AR gets big minutes right away and just defends, blocks shots, rebounds, and only shoots open jumpers or tries to score on putbacks or mistmatches which is what I think you’re saying.

    But it seems to take players wit huge upsides like Camby, Odom, and Josh Smith to settle into a role. Also, the coaching staff seems to want him to develop more of an offensive repertoire by taking defenders of the dribble and shooting jumpers. Maybe you’re limiting his growth by not letting him shoot. If that’s the case, I think he should be defined as a secondary player on the team so as not to disturb the flow. At least for now.

    Re: Felton. I think he (or whoever else is playing PG) is going to have a very big role in the rhythm and flow of the offense this year and that is all that I meant. I wasn’t for a second suggesting he’d be a scorer on par w/ Gallo or Stoudemire.

  26. Ted Nelson

    rama: but the problem was that he didn’t seem to be aware of his limitations enough not to cause problems at inopportune moments.

    I don’t think that’s true. His limitations are not as a scorer. D’Antoni seemed happy enough with Harrington all season, so I doubt he was telling Al to do anything differently: his role was to shoot/score. The Knicks didn’t have many scorers. Harrington was one of their better scorers, especially with D’Antoni antagonizing one of the other best scorers all season. Harrington was the only guy who could score and get his own shot inside and out. If the offense broke down or was stagnant, you could give him the ball on the perimeter and expect a good shot whether it game as a jumper or on a drive.
    I hope the Knicks will make up for that with their new additions, but there might be some times when Randolph or Chandler or someone throws up a few really ugly long-jumpers or Danilo can’t beat his man off the dribble, and we miss Al just a tiny bit.

    His limitations are as a rebounder, defender, and playmaker. Unfortunately, the Knicks did not have other defenders to cover up Al’s tweenerness. They didn’t have many other playmakers outside of Lee and Nate. They didn’t have a 3rd big besides he and Lee to help pick up Al’s rebounding slack.

    rama: don’t you remember that particular play where he literally did spin, fall, and shoot over the backboard (or off it)?

    It was one play…
    He did go to the spin move a laughable amount, but it seemed to work more often than not.

    rama: I can think of four games he lost when it was late and close.

    I would rather not rely on Al Harrington as my go-to scorer, but it’s not his fault the Knicks had no other viable option (besides just running a fluid offense, which NBA teams don’t seem to like to do for whatever reasons at the end of games very often… perhaps it’s the defenses they’re facing, but perhaps just lack of discipline).

    The technical fouls were boneheaded, but would Jared Jeffries or Jordan Hill or Darko or whoever was sitting on the bench have done any better? I agree that the team should have run its offense more late in games, but when you get into a one-on-one situation the Knicks didn’t have anyone besides Nate who could really get his own shot anywhere on the court.

    Crawford’s TS% was only comparable to Al’s .546 in one of his 4 full seasons as a Knick… But I’m not saying Al is amazing, just not that bad in a defined role. He obviously had a career year last season, but I generally don’t mind Crawford nearly as much as a 3rd or 4th guard as I do as a high usage leading scorer.

  27. Frank O.

    Al Harrington was plagued by his desire to be THE guy, but never really have the ability to be THE guy.
    He will not be missed.

  28. Ted Nelson

    DS,

    I think it’s going to fall somewhere between the two. I don’t think jacking up a bunch of shots he can’t hit will help his development… there is plenty of time outside of games to work on his jumper. I do think he almost has to take a few more jumpers than he can hit, but a fairly marginal amount (in a sense even a Danilo isn’t hitting half the shots he takes). A lot of his value to the offense will come with his ability to finish at the basket (and he does have this skill… not everyone does as we saw for years with Jeffries). Part of that will hopefully be within the offense, but part will be on his own drives against big guys who aren’t as quick as him. Another aspect of this is that one big going out to guard AR on the perimeter (or a wing on AR and a big on Gallo if they adjust that way) is going to open up the paint. For a big to need to guard AR on the perimeter (or switch to Gallo so a wing can) rather than keep an eye on him from the paint, it helps a whole lot if when they do cheat off of him he can take a wide open jumper and hit it at a passable rate… or at least drive and make the defense pay by hitting an open teammate. So, I think expanding his offensive repertoire beyond the Ben Wallace or Jared Jeffries level is a good move short-term as well as long-term. He is more talented than those guys as a scorer and ball-handler, and should be used accordingly. That doesn’t mean he has to be a primary scorer, either. He will still have value as a rebounder, shot blocker, and possibly overall defender and passer.

    Frank O.: Al Harrington was plagued by his desire to be THE guy, but never really have the ability to be THE guy.
    He will not be missed.  

    I think you’ve missed or intentionally overlooked what I’m saying. Sure, though, Harrington was just awful and the reason the Knicks lost. Having no defense, one playmaker, and only a few decent scorers probably had nothing to do with it… it was all Al Harrington and his above average scoring. That was it.

  29. Ted Nelson

    By the way, re: WC at the 4, I think Beck is dating himself with this quote: “D’Antoni said power forward was his best position.”

    I have heard D’Antoni say, in the middle of last season, that *we thought* the 4 was his best spot… implying they no longer feel that way.

    With AR now on board, I don’t really think WC is a better option at the 4 than AR. You are killing yourself on the glass with WC at the 4, but if you don’t look at rebound% you might not realize the difference between Marion and WC as rebounders. I would also say the 4 is not WC’s ideal defensive position, but who knows. I wouldn’t have played Diaw at the 5 and D’Antoni had success doing so.

  30. ess-dog

    Re: Randolph,

    What’s amazing about Randolph is that he basically was the same rebounder in his single college season as Favors was in his – the difference being a .100-plus difference in TS% with Favors maxing out at .621.
    I’m going to assume that Randolph played more on the perimeter than Favors, but if Randolph is indeed getting stronger, it would probably behoove him to do his work closer to the basket (aside from in transition where hopefully he’ll be a monster.)
    The ability to knock down a short jumper would be helpful, but there really is no need for him to take it out near the 3 point line.

  31. Brian Cronin

    It’s a new season, but… WS played 36 mpg last season.

    That little typo drove me nuts for, like, three minutes until I realized it was a typo.

    “Who the hell is WS?!?!?”

  32. Brian Cronin

    I don’t see what problems people have with Harrington. I have it on good authority from a Nuggets blog that Harrington was the best Knick last year.

  33. ess-dog

    Brian Cronin:
    That little typo drove me nuts for, like, three minutes until I realized it was a typo.“Who the hell is WS?!?!?” :)  

    WILSOOOOOON SSSSSHHHHHANDALAAAA……

    also,
    Denver is right to want Favors over any of our guys. But how the hell did Beasley avg. 4 more boards PER GAME than Favors in his lone college season?

  34. Frank O.

    Ted:
    My comment wasn’t directed at you. I would have pointed to the comment, or addressed you directly.
    I’ve been agreeing with much of what you have said lately. Still don’t agree much with your Nate musings, but I respect your opinion.

  35. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog: there really is no need for him to take it out near the 3 point line.  

    As I said earlier, I think he can be a good stretch 4 (or 5) who can take a lot of slower guys off the dribble and between he and Gallo draw a defender outside of the paint to open up the offense considerably… maybe even open up the paint completely for stretches in a small-ball line-up. This will be mostly due to his driving and finishing ability (and Gallo’s shooting ability), but he has to at least be a threat to take and occasionally hit a jumper to fit into that role. If he’s going to hit 10-20% (as he has historically) it’s not going to work out and teams won’t respect him much on the perimeter, but if he’s going to hit 30% from 3 on a low volume and maybe get his eFG% on jumpers to around 40%-ish it might. Knicks might have the most dangerous offensive front-court 3-5 in the league if he can do that.

    To clarify, I don’t want him taking 6 shots outside the paint in 23 minutes, as he did in the last game, but 2 or 3 wide open looks… maybe (he did hit 1-3 from 3 against the Wolves). Probably more like his shot distribution against Milan most nights… but maybe one or two of the jumpers is a 3 if his range has improved significantly. Over time hopefully that range will improve. He doesn’t have to be Gallo ever, just hit 33% on 2-3 3PA/36… very Shawn Marion like, and we all know Marion was an efficient scorer and valuable piece at the 4 for D’Antoni. My hope for AR is basically that he can be Marion x Diaw (or at least a hybrid between the two).

    Frank O.: Ted:
    My comment wasn’t directed at you.

    Fair enough, sorry.

  36. d-mar

    Quote from Tom Haberstroh (who?) on ESPN Insider article entitled “Future Prospects for Rebuilding Teams”:

    “The allure of Madison Square Garden couldn’t entice Dwyane Wade, LeBron James or Chris Bosh to the Big Apple, but the Knicks have a bright future ahead of them. New York boasts plenty of young talent and a legitimate star in Amar’e Stoudemire.”

    When was the last time anyone referred to the Knicks as having “a bright future ahead of them”? Walsh has done a great job getting us headed in the right direction and giving the fans a reason to be optimistic.

  37. Sparks with Starks

    This post is sort of related to the topic, since the it has to do partly with Knicks predictions for the season.

    Anyway, after finally finishing trying to wrap my brain around WARP 2, Wins above replacement player and True Shooting Percentage in the Prospectus, I checked out their projections for team records and playoff positioning for this year. What I found is that there are some completely off-the-wall projections IMHO, which if correct are going to make these guys look like geniuses and if not are going to make them look kind of foolish.

    Here are their projections for 1-8 in the EC and WC. (I assume Mike or somebody can delete my post if they think I’m giving away too much info here, but I thought it was interesting fodder for conversation in the pre-season).

    EC
    1. Miami 2. Orlando 3. Chicago 4. New York 5. Boston 6. Milwaukee 7. New Jersey 8. Cleveland

    WC
    1. Portland 2. San Antonio 3. Denver 4. Golden St. 5. New Orleans 6. Oklahoma City 7. Dallas 8. L.A. Lakers

    And here are mine:

    EC
    1. Miami 2. Orlando 3. Boston 4. Chicago 5. Atlanta 6. Milwaukee 7. New York 8. Charlotte

    WC
    1. Lakers 2. Oklahoma City 3. Dallas 4. San Antonio 5. Portland 6. Utah 7. Denver 8. L.A. Clippers

    Now, I’m sure I’ll be way off somewhere, but are these guys insane? Golden St. 4 spots ahead of the Lakers? Us ahead of Boston? New Orleans and Golden St. ahead of Oklahoma City? Cleveland and New Jersey in the playoffs?

    I know I’ve got a lot to learn about basketball analysis (statistical and otherwise), but am I the only one thinking these guys have lost their minds with some of these projections? Anyway, I’d be curious to get some feedback.

  38. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog: Denver is right to want Favors over any of our guys.

    We’ll have to see… Favors definitely has skill and upside, but AR and Gallo have proven NBA skills and plenty of upside of their own. I was not overly impressed by Favors at GTech. His only good scoring game in the pre-season has come against a non-NBA team. He’s a developmental prospect and a lot of his value will be on defense, but I’m not sure he’ll be better than Gallo or AR, let alone both.

  39. cgreene

    anyone watching this game?
    -felton has looked much smoother
    -mozgov continues to impress
    -wilson is shooting well
    -gallo cant find it

  40. Frank O.

    @44
    I have to agree.
    They seem very fluid together. Kind of effortless. Amare gets to the line so much. So nice to have a Knicks player respected by the refs. Not sure why KG got booted, but really a disservice to the crowd.
    Mosgov looks good and he has affected several shots tonight. In general, the Knicks are contesting passes and shots and not giving up a lot of lay ups.
    I love Gallo taking it to the hoop tonight and getting some boards. O”Neil rejected him, but he seemed undeterred.
    Felton has made some nice dishes so far.
    Randolph still seems a bit lost out there.
    I’m watching the celtics network, so hearing a lot of bitching about officiating.
    Mason seems to be as advertised.

    Turiaf is clearly a back up. There is no way he starts over Mosgov or is higher on the depth chart.

  41. JK47

    25 FT attempts by the Knicks, 8 by the Celtics. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

    What I’m liking so far: Mozgov’s all-around game, Amare’s offense, Toney D’s perimeter defense

    What I’m not liking: Gallinari’s defense, lack of interior offense when Amar’e is on the bench, Randolph’s offense

  42. rohank

    Watching the game. Some observations:

    1) The defense looks AMAZING blocks, steals, general activity, hustle, even rebounding!
    2) The defense
    3) The defense

    seriously though. the defense looks awesome.

    Real list:
    2) The knicks have very little offense off the bench. Walker/mason is going to have to be the key or AR will have to step up big time. He doesn’t seem ready for that role yet though.
    3) Mozgov is the real deal. Great stroke, activity, defense, passing. the ONLY thing he needs to improve is his fouls, and he’s actually doing pretty well so far in this one. Side note: he got a tech while walking to the bench. I think i saw D’Antoni mouth: “but he only speaks russian!”
    4) I liked what I saw from everyone on the floor except mason. Dude needs to find his shot. Felton also needs to shoot better and I find Gallo to be a little passive, but those are my only criticisms so far.

  43. marxster

    Watching Celtics network. Their commentators are absolutely horrendous. They are such complainers and have absolutely nothing good to say about the Knicks, right or wrong.
    Heinsohn sucks!

  44. SeeWhyDee77

    I just wanna make this obvious comment about the game…great scorers make it look effortless. Stat is killin whatever the c’s throw at him and he’s makin it look easy. I’m definitely glad we have him..now i’ll start prayin for his health lol.

  45. GAx

    I’m surprised we haven’t gotten more comments about this game tonight. Barring the BS technical rule rearing its head, this has been a great, exciting game.

  46. SeeWhyDee77

    o..and 1 more obvious comment….Rondo is indeed the truth..sorry Pierce, ur nickname no longer applies to u

  47. ess-dog

    This is a wack lineup out there right now: Rautins, Douglas, Fields, Randolph, Turiaf. Actually, maybe it could work…

  48. JK47

    D’Antoni was not really trying to win this one– Douglas, Rautins, Fields, Randolph and Turiaf played the entire home stretch of the game, while Rivers sent Pierce, Rondo and Allen out there.

    An enjoyable game though, and a better effort from NYK tonight.

  49. marxster

    Fun game. Here are some observations:
    - I like that Chandler takes it to the rim. At times when not much is working for the Knicks, Chandler takes it to the rim. He did that last year too, and I’m not so sure that trading him for Rudy would do as any good.

    - Mozgov seems a bit lost at times and absolutely must rebound more given his size.

    - A couple of really nice defensive sequences by the Knicks.

    - Bill Walker only shoots 3s! Not good.

    - Good defense by TD and some really nice pick n rolls.

    - I feel real good about Randolph. It seems that he needs some minutes to get into the swing of things.

    - Stat is a beast.

  50. ess-dog

    I know it’s still early, but how does Fields not get burn when we get to the regular season? I already love this kid.

  51. nicos

    Well, it’s going to be an interesting year. Mozgov looked really good early but was awful in the second half. AR forced the issue pretty much every time he touched the ball- hard to see him getting 30 minutes a game if that continues (though I know it’s just pre-season). Felton was Duhon-esque. Gallo a non-factor. On the plus side- Amare’s a freak- after Rondo he was the quickest player on the floor and completely dominated. TD looks like he’s making some real progress at the 1 (which given Felton’s play could be vital for the Knick’s hopes). Chandler- so far looks like he did in the 2nd half of last year plus improved long range shooting- maybe he does make a real step forward this year. By the way, I know Pierce and Ray Allen sat last night but 36 and 39(!!) minutes?? And over 40 for Rondo?

  52. d-mar

    I give D’Antoni credit for leaving subs out there against mostly starters for Boston. It really isn’t about winning in preseason, and it was a good experience for those guys to be out there in crunch time (although Turiaf is really hard to watch) Fields and Douglas really get after it on the defensive end, which makes them valuable coming off the bench down the road.

    Other observations:

    - Agree with nicos, Chandler looked very smooth and poised and his shot looked great
    - Stat is a beast, but I guess we knew that already
    - Randolph looks lost, I think he’s more of a project than we thought
    – Mozgov had some moments, but he’s a project as well
    – Felton needs to step up his game before opening night, or TD may be grabbing his minutes

    Overall, I thought a good effort and a positive night for our Knicks

  53. Ted Nelson

    rohank: The knicks have very little offense off the bench. Walker/mason is going to have to be the key

    There’s that one Douglas guy… Unless you mean he should be starting over Felton :)

    Seriously, though, I’m not too worried. Douglas, Mason, Fields, and Walker are all scorers as much as anything else. Turiaf is a good passer for a big and can score a few points efficiently. AR had 9 points on about 9 possessions (plus an unacceptable 5 TOs…).

    rohank: I liked what I saw from everyone on the floor except mason. Dude needs to find his shot.

    He had 5 points on 5 FGAs… 1-2 from 3. That’s not a bad night, though it’s not a great night either. His shot is not something I’m worried about.

    rohank: Felton also needs to shoot better

    Tell me about it… he’s needed to shoot/score better for 25 years, though, so I sort of doubt it changes.

    marxster: Chandler takes it to the rim. He did that last year too, and I’m not so sure that trading him for Rudy would do as any good.

    Rudy takes literally 90% jumpers… the reason to trade WC for Rudy is to get another shooter. But the way WC has been stroking it also… you very well may be right.

    marxster: Bill Walker only shoots 3s! Not good.

    When did he do anything else?

  54. Z-man

    Was at the game with my kids and it was as good as most regular season games I have seen in the past few years. Crowd was impressive in terms of size and energy. Bummer when KG got the boot, but at lease we got to see him have a solid first Q.

    Stat fired up the crowd on several occasions. He scored a pretty effortless 30 despite a slow start…maybe KG would have made a difference but Stat took him to the hole too.

    The level of hustle by all of the Knicks was great to see. Randolph kinda blew the game at the end (the missed dunk was a killer!), but also made some nice plays and hit some big FTs. He really only goes left, though, and is not hard to defend. Gotta hope that Stat rubs off on him.

    The D was awesome and the crowd was totally into the effort. They definitely put Rondo in some bad spots. Fields and TD really stuck out as relentless defenders. Neither PG was impressive on O, though.

    For an awkward-looking guy, Harangody looked really good. He’s definitely looking like an NBA rotation player.

  55. Frank O.

    I found AR to be really awkward and unrefined. He forced so many shots, and played kind of self-conscious. That missed dunk was hard to watch.
    A note about the Boston announcers: it felt like I was listening to two mooks at a cetlics home game just bitching about everything.
    I mean Tommy was flat out calling things “stupid.”
    Any time something broke the Knicks way, he would immediately mention that the Celts were getting no breaks.
    And in the final quarter he actually said something like, boy, I’m real proud of our guys. I mean the Knicks are playing all their bigs and the Celts have no bigs and they’re hanging in there.
    But the Celts plays Allen, Pierce and Rondo, while the Knicks ran team two/three: Douglas, Rautins, Fields, Randolph and Turiaf.
    I mean, it’s one thing to be partisan. It’s another to be such a homer that you completely ignore what is happening in front of you.

    IMHO, Rautins seems pretty lost. His last shot attempt was mystifying in that it was so rushed, there was still time on the clock for a pass.
    And Turiaf looked pretty awkward out there. He missed a bunch of passes, although Rautins was dishing him some junk that was virtually unseeable.
    I like Douglas and Fields a lot. They’re tough and can ball. Fields seems like a pretty smart player.

    And the team D in general was a bit shocking coming from a D’Antoni playbook…

  56. Z

    D’Antoni now says he’ll use a 9 man rotation. Who’s in, who’s out?

    In:

    Amar’e
    Gallo
    Felton
    Timofey
    Randolph
    Chandler
    Douglas
    Azubuike*

    On The Cusp:

    Mason
    Walker
    Turiaf
    Fields

    Out:

    Rautins
    Ewing
    Williams

    **

    Figure Mason and Walker could both be left out, should Azubuike return strong. Maybe Chandler too. But what about Fields? If he plays his way into the rotation, he has to actually be in the rotation, right?

    Any chance we can turn 4 mediocre shooting guards into one great one?…

  57. Sparks with Starks

    Z-man: Was at the game with my kids and it was as good as most regular season games I have seen in the past few years. Crowd was impressive in terms of size and energy. Bummer when KG got the boot, but at lease we got to see him have a solid first Q.Stat fired up the crowd on several occasions. He scored a pretty effortless 30 despite a slow start…maybe KG would have made a difference but Stat took him to the hole too.The level of hustle by all of the Knicks was great to see. Randolph kinda blew the game at the end (the missed dunk was a killer!), but also made some nice plays and hit some big FTs. He really only goes left, though, and is not hard to defend. Gotta hope that Stat rubs off on him.The D was awesome and the crowd was totally into the effort. They definitely put Rondo in some bad spots. Fields and TD really stuck out as relentless defenders. Neither PG was impressive on O, though.For an awkward-looking guy, Harangody looked really good. He’s definitely looking like an NBA rotation player.  (Quote)

    Didn’t see the game but that’s great to hear that Douglas was looking “relentless” on defense. If he’s going to pick up that part of his game to go along with his scoring ability, he could really be on Felton’s heels in a hurry. Have to see of course too if TD is good enough of a playmaker setting up STAT and Gallo and others.

  58. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.: IMHO, Rautins seems pretty lost. His last shot attempt was mystifying in that it was so rushed, there was still time on the clock for a pass.

    You never know, but I don’t expect him to play much this season. At least certainly not early. In TD and Mason you have two guys ahead of him who basically bring the same thing… and then there are bigger guys who bring some of what he brings with some other things…

    Z: D’Antoni now says he’ll use a 9 man rotation. Who’s in, who’s out?

    I hope not, but Anthony Randolph might be out at this point… He’s the last non-rookie guy coming into games right now. I would be surprised if Fields gets too many minutes early, but maybe if other guys struggle. I would be very surprised if WC is out of the rotation at any point given how much he’s played the last 2 years and that he looks improved so far.

    Z: Any chance we can turn 4 mediocre shooting guards into one great one?… 

    I think between the 4 (plus TD and maybe Rautins…) you’ve got a good chance that one or two emerge to have a good season. WC is off to a great start. The issue, of course, is that there’s no one complete SG who has it all… but D’Antoni has a little bit of this and that, which he’ll have to use effectively. I honestly don’t know what “great one” they’re going to get… The names mentioned in trade rumors previously aren’t exactly “great:” Michael Redd, OJ Mayo, Monta Ellis, Rip Hamilton… I think I’d just stick with our guys. Maybe Phoenix moves J-Rich at some point if they don’t intend to re-sign him. If Wilson Chandler starts the season on fire he might be a decent trade piece, he also might be worth re-signing.

  59. Ted Nelson

    Ted Nelson: D’Antoni has a little bit of this and that, which he’ll have to use effectively. I honestly don’t know what “great one” they’re going to get…

    Part of my point is that I’d probably rather have a few (cheap) guys who excel in one or two areas but also have some short-comings than a Rip Hamilton type, for example, who is decent across the board but doesn’t do anything all that well. Especially with the cost of a Hamilton. If a good enough option was available, though, sure.

  60. Caleb

    If Chandler plays great he could make Gallo or even Randolph expendable, in more of a high-profile trade… the way the cap situation shakes out, it’s hard to see all three of them being on the team next year. Especially with Stoudemire eating up PF minutes.

  61. Ted Nelson

    Caleb: If Chandler plays great he could make Gallo or even Randolph expendable, in more of a high-profile trade

    Didn’t the Knicks already offer one of them to Denver in a high-profile deal… so apparently they’re already expendable.

    If WC can continue to shoot the ball well from outside–to go with his driving and defense–be gives D’Antoni a big physical (but also super athletic) SG… Sort of Raja Bell on steroids. I don’t think the three are mutually exclusive by any means.

    “the way the cap situation shakes out, it’s hard to see all three of them being on the team next year.”

    ? I don’t know exactly what you mean, but I would say it sort of depends… If these are 3 long-term core-ish rotation players on a contending team… that’s who the cap space should be used on. Unless the Knicks want to go all in hoping for a 2012 free agent (and risk repeating 2010, but maybe with a better team that attracts a big fish…): Howard, Paul, Deron Williams… Or the Knicks could sign Melo (which I’d rather they not) and try to trade Gallo/AR/WC for more of a position of need (possibly Paul/Williams).

  62. Ted Nelson

    Caleb: Especially with Stoudemire eating up PF minutes.  

    I’ve said it before, but I don’t find this to be a big problem. If AR is good enough, I think he can be the Marion to Amare’s Amare… And with the extra 4 inches plus good length he might even be able to guard the opposition’s best offensive bigman (whether 4 or 5) to relieve Amare of that pressure. Plus 20-30 mpg of Timo or some other C. Maybe X mpg of C/Amare/Randolph/Gallo depending on how things (AR’s shot, AR and Gallo’s playmaking/ballhandling and defense/body types…) develop.

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