Friday, October 29, 2010
It was essentially the inclusion of Jordan Hill that made last season's trading deadline deal between the Knicks, Rockets, and the Kings possible. The Rockets received Hill (in addition to Kevin Martin), while taking on Jared Jeffries' expensive contract continuing through this season.
Although Tommy alludes to the fact that the reason why the Knicks did the trade in the first place was to clear out cap space for LeBron James and another superstar, I cannot help but notice (now that the free agency hoopla is over) how similar Jeffries' contract is to the contract Raymond Felton received from the Knicks this off-season.
Essentially, the Knicks' trade of Jeffries made the signing of Felton possible. However, if Jennings was drafted instead of Hill, there may have been no trade at all, and Jennings would have been the Knicks' point guard this season instead of Felton.
Of course, the Knicks needed to go all out in hopes of securing two marquee free agents. The trade needed to happen. That being said, Jeffries (one of the league leaders in charges taken last season) is a nice defensive player, and I cannot help but wonder how Jennings would have played in Coach D'Antoni's system.
What do other Knicks' fans think? How would Jennings have fared in orange and blue? Should there even be a comparison between the two?
Talk to me and let me know what you think @KnicksJournal on Twitter!
After nine straight losing seasons, the Knicks’ number one priority is undoubtedly to win and make the playoffs. The question then becomes, who will help them get there?
After being unable to attract the likes of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the team will be relying upon Stoudemire. Will STAT have a career year in his first season in orange and blue, as he leads the way back to greatness?
Given his age, role on the team, and a return to a system in which he (and many other NBA players) flourish, all signs point to Stoudemire having his best statistical season to date.
Not only do the Knicks not have another “major” scorer other than Stoudemire, the team also lacks anyone else proven to be clutch.
A dominating force on offense, Stoudemire has proven that he can take over the game and/or have the confidence and stability to be the player with the ball in his hands at the end of a close game.
While he only had 19 points, shooting a questionable 7 for 16, during his regular season debut against the Raptors, Stoudemire surged late in the fourth quarter to propel the Knicks to an opening night victory.
Furthermore, he averaged 25.7 points in just 27 minutes per game in 6 preseason contests, proving to be highly efficient.
It is obvious that Stoudemire can score, and on this Knicks squad, he’s going to have to. That surely will not be a problem for him. Besides the fame and fortune, Stoudemire came to New York knowing full well he would have to embrace the Knicks as “his team.”
However, there is still room for improvement in Stoudemire’s game, and it’s in categories that the Knicks have been sorely lacking in for many seasons.
One of the worst rebounding teams in the league last season, the Knicks need Stoudemire to average double-digits in boards. Although he has never averaged more than 9.6 rebounds per game in a season, Stoudemire will have his greatest opportunity to do so this season. The Knicks are now without their leading rebounder from the last two seasons, David Lee, who averaged 11.7 rebounds in his two seasons as a full-time starter.
Given that Ronny Turiaf, the team’s backup center, is probably the team’s next strongest rebounder, the rebounds are absolutely Stoudemire’s to grab.
After struggling on defense last season as well, the Knicks will certainly welcome Stoudemire’s career average of 1.4 blocks. That statistic too, however, will also need to see an improvement if Stoudemire hopes to elevate the Knicks to another level.
Whether he plays the power forward or center position, Stoudemire is guaranteed to match up with the league’s best big men each and every game. As the Knicks best big man since Patrick Ewing, he will need to develop into a dominating figure not solely on offense, but defense as well.
While it’s almost certain that the Knicks’ fate depends on Stoudemire this season, statistics only tell part of the story.
In addition to being the Knicks’ most clutch performer, STAT is also an “impact” type of player, which the team has not had in years. Having such a player on the floor each and every night instantly gives the Knicks’ a better chance at winning, as Stoudemire is immediately able to turn up the heat when it is needed. His performance opening night proves he has the ability to be that type of player, whereas in the past, he has been in the shadow of a player like Steve Nash.
The Knicks’ playoff hopes are on Amare Stoudemire’s shoulders, and he’s certainly willing to embrace it. If he is able to guide his new team towards something that has not happened in nine seasons, it's safe to assume he'll do so having the best season of his career in the process.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The new-look Knicks opened up their season with a 98-93 victory over the Raptors. While it's good to start the season on a high note, there were, of course, various ups and downs for the Knicks during the match up. With that, here are some game observations:
-Defense wins ball games. While the Knicks' intensity was not as high as one would hope, the team did play enough defense to come away with a win.
-The multiple defensive surges were often led by Ronny Turiaf, who came off the bench to block four shots.
- The team's total of 10 blocked shots was the highest total for Knicks' blocked shots in a game since the days of Dikembe Mutombo (who anchored the Knicks defense in 2003-04).
- While Amare Stoudemire only scored 19 points, he took control in the 4th quarter to propel the Knicks to victory. He immediately began proving he's the clutch go-to-guy the team has been lacking for years.
- Did Wilson Chandler prove Coach D'Antoni right or wrong by scoring 22 points off the bench? Does his offense provide a boost off the bench, or is it needed to start off the game?
- The Knicks' scoring attack was also balanced by Landry Fields, Raymond Felton, and Toney Douglas, who all scored in double figures.
- Although he also scored in double figures with 12 points, Danilo Gallinari's shooting woes continued last night. Is he hurting the Knicks' chances of acquiring Carmelo Anthony?
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Although Landry Fields was unknown to NBA fans upon being drafted by the Knicks in June, he is quickly making a name for himself in New York.
While there were questions as to whether Fields would even make it off the bench this season, he followed up a pleasantly surprising summer league performance with an even more impressive preseason, averaging 8.6 points in just 19 minutes per game. More importantly, he was one of the Knicks’ best shooters, shooting 43 percent from downtown and 55 percent overall.
Visibly impressed, coach Mike D’Antoni named Fields the team’s opening night starting shooting guard, over the likes of Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas.
It was Douglas’ preseason surge that carried him into the starting job conversation, but the Knicks have no other backup point guard, and his instant offense may be better suited as a spark off the bench.
Chandler, however, has occupied a spot in the starting lineup for much of the last two seasons. While he did have a decent preseason, D’Antoni likes the versatility Chandler provides the Knicks, should he come off the bench.
And then there’s Fields, the once rarely known rookie. Although he’s not spectacular in one specific area of his game, Fields is consistent and does all the little things a successful team needs. The intangibles he provides could be very useful in a starting lineup that already features offensive threats Amar'e Stoudemire and Danilo Gallinari.
Ironically enough, while being praised for his play off the ball with the Knicks, Fields led the Pac-10 in scoring during his senior year at Stanford, averaging over 22 points.
Perhaps an even more important statistic for the Knicks was the almost nine rebounds the 6’7" Fields also averaged during his senior year.
The team’s rebounding numbers over the past couple seasons have certainly been woeful to say the least, but with new big men like Ronny Turiaf and Timofey Mozgov in the fold, the Knicks hope to increase those same numbers. While he may be smaller, Fields figures to have an impact in that increase as well.
It is obvious that Fields can do so many things right, but is starting him the best way to capitalize on his skills, or would using him as a boost off the bench be more fitting? That same type of boost is something D’Antoni hopes Chandler will provide.
Chandler, next to Eddy Curry, is the longest tenured Knick. He has often guarded the opponent’s best offensive player. Although Chandler is consistent, the Knicks have been looking for his scoring and rebounding numbers to increase, and it just has not happened yet.
Starting Fields over Chandler may balance out the starting lineup, but can he handle the league’s best offensive players like Chandler has in seasons past?
The fact of the matter is that the Knicks have not been a winning organization, so lineup shakeups can be justified until the team finally starts to win. Perhaps on this particular Knicks squad, Chandler is better suited coming off the bench.
However, there is no doubt that should Chandler begin to outplay Fields, D’Antoni will not hesitate to make an adjustment.
Most rookies will make mistakes during the season. The Knicks saw it with Toney Douglas last season. Although it’s bound to happen, Fields’ intelligence has been highly praised, and playing off the ball so often may keep any of his mistakes under the radar.
For now, though, the Knicks are simply smitten with Fields. Whether anyone expected it or not, he now has the ultimate chance of proving he belongs in the NBA, while making an impact on the Knicks.
Fields and the Knicks open up their season Wednesday night in Toronto against the Raptors.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Look out for Knicks' rookies Landry Fields and Andy Rautins to be performing their hit, "Teach Me How to Snuggie", all season long....
...just kidding! Fields, Rautins, and the rest of the Knicks open up their season tomorrow night vs. the Raptors in Toronto.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
After a handful of high scoring performances as a starter last season, Douglas has picked up right where he left off, except this time, he’s doing it as a sixth man.
As the Knicks search for the appropriate “No. 2” compliment next to Amare Stoudemire, Douglas has logged impressive back to back 20-plus point performances.
Coach Mike D’Antoni has been hoping that Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari can develop into more elite scorers. However, expecting so much out of Chandler (although he has had an impressive preseason) may be unreasonable. For Gallinari, it may simply be too soon to expect so much, especially when his thoughts may or may not be clouded with Carmelo Anthony trade rumors.
Instead, D’Antoni benched Chandler (there is, however no need to worry about Chandler; he’ been as consistent as they come) in favor of Douglas for much of the Knicks’ 117-111 victory over the Nets Tuesday night. The move paid off.
While Chandler and Gallinari may be feeling the pressure to impress, there is little to no pressure on Douglas with the presence of Felton. Felton is being heralded as the team’s next big point guard, and Douglas knows he will likely be the team’s “backup point guard” on opening night.
However, Felton and Douglas’ playing styles are quite different (aside from the fact that both are fast-paced players), and they are proving quite well that they can coexist on the court.
In fact, giving Felton another scorer to feed (in addition to Stoudemire, who erupted for 39 points vs. the Nets), resulted in an 11-assist outing, Felton’s best this preseason.
Douglas, on the other hand, was on the attack at both ends of the floor vs. the Nets. More of a scoring point guard, Douglas (who made 7-of-8 free throws) charged at the hoop nearly every position, going in for lay-up after lay-up as he challenged the Nets’ defense.
Much of Douglas’ production came from his flaring defensive instincts; his six steals led to many offense opportunities. He finished with 24 points, a great follow-up to a 23-point performance against the Wizards over the weekend.
While many assertions regarding how a player will perform during the season (based on preseason games) are often premature, the way Douglas finished off last season (in addition to how he has picked up) is suggesting he could be the Knicks’ version of Jason Terry, another smaller, not so traditional, point guard who likes to score in bunches.
Aside from playing a similar role to what Douglas hopes to play for the Knicks this season, Terry has also been crucial to each of the Mavericks’ playoff runs during his three seasons primarily off the bench.
D’Antoni conveyed that he liked playing Felton and Douglas together after the win vs. the Nets, so that tandem will undoubtedly be seen again.
While his role on the Knicks has seemed to flip-flop a bit as the Knicks search for their identity as a team, if he continues up this level of play, Douglas will emerge as an easy “Sixth Man of the Year” candidate, while potentially helping the team to the playoffs in the process.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
With the team's next game (tonight at 6pm vs. the Wizards) just hours away, here are some quick observations from last night. Remember to check out the goodies (this week including what Amare Stoudemire and his former Suns teammates thought about Coach D'Antoni, and what it would be like if Stephon Marbury were still donning orange and blue with Amare) by clicking each player's name:
- In a surprise move, Mike D'Antoni started Toney Douglas next to Raymond Felton in the back court. Given how many natural shooting guards (off the bench) have been impressive thus far, it was odd that Douglas was given the starting nod.
- Perhaps the logic behind starting Douglas was to give Felton more offensive opportunities. Felton recorded his best offensive contribution to date, finishing with 16 points on 6-13 from the field, with 5 assists.
- Douglas also had 5 assists, but shot 0-7 from the field. The team struggled to get in sync with Douglas throughout the game. This only proves how crucial a more efficient and free-flowing point guard (like Nash was, or what the Knicks hope Felton can be) really is to this offense.
- Better team rebounding has been preached all preseason long. Unfortunately, it hasn't clicked for the Knicks yet. Rookie Landry Fields led the team with 7 rebounds off the bench. It's also mentionable that Fields himself only stands at 6'7 and 210 pounds....
Maybe it was because Amare Stoudemire sat out last night's game, but the Knicks' big men need to step up and rebound if the team wants to contend for a playoff spot.
- The Timofey Mozgov Watch continued as "The Big Russian" was given the start against Shaquille O'Neal. While he did foul out in just 20 minutes of play, Mozgov continued his fine shooting touch, connecting on 3 out 5 from the field and did block two shots. One of those blocks sent Paul Pierce to the floor. Check it out below.
Enjoy. See ya next time, folks.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
With Amare Stoudemire getting a precautionary game off vs. the Celtics tonight, Coach Mike D'Antoni will move Wilson Chandler to the power forward position, thus opening up the starting shooting guard spot.
The two guard is seemingly the Knicks' deepest position, with multiple talents stepping up as they all vie for playing time. Included in this competitive pack of guards are Roger Mason Jr., Bill Walker, and rookies Landry Fields and Andy Rautins.
Kelenna Azubuike also is sure to be some heavy competition once he returns from injury as well.
As far as tonight's game goes, the starting nod seems like it could go to Mason Jr. or Fields, with Rautins possibly starting the second half.
Although Walker has been one of the most impressive (and possibly the most surprising) guards out the gate this preseason, Tommy Dee over at TKB suggests he may be better suited as a reserve.
As he looks to join the mentoring race of former NBA players, Anthony Mason agreed to work out with Eddy Curry in hopes of getting him back in shape.
A daunting task, if Mason succeeds (or at the very least, has some type of positive impact on Curry at all), he could prove himself worth taking a chance on as an assistant coach/special adviser to the Knicks.
According to the New York Post, Mason is optimistic about the opportunities that may await them both.
Regarding his own future:
"I'm trying to get back into the NBA, but definitely I would love to be here," said Mason, out of Springfield Gardens. "This was the first team that gave me an honest shot, and so I would love to be affiliated with the Knicks."
On Eddy Curry:
"If you get Eddy back on the court, the sky's the limit.
"I think if he continues to work hard, then he has the talent. With the additions that they have on the team now, you imagine getting him back on the court how he was some years ago. Along with Stoudemire and Raymond Felton and the new additions, it could be awesome."
Although Curry has a long way to go, the fact that he is working with Mason is a major stepping stone in the right direction. Knicks fans have been suggesting for years now, that Curry work with a Mason or Charles Oakley-type (whom were both gritty, hard-nosed, and intimidating big men during their playing days) to improve his toughness.
While Mason suggesting that Curry (may) be able to make a strong impact with the likes of Stoudemire and Felton is probably a tad premature, the Knicks are certainly still lacking that tough presence down low next to Stoudemire, and would welcome that type of contribution, be it from Curry, or anybody else.
Friday, October 15, 2010
The Knicks survived the highly anticipated summer of 2010, coming away with a star and molding a well balanced team. Now comes the hard part, as the team prepares to begin the season.
However, with any team (especially one with 11 new players), there are sure to be many questions regarding a brand new NBA season.
As the pressure for success mounts, here are a few questions that Danilo Gallinari and the new-look New York Knicks are bound to face during the 2010-11 season.
While he is proving early on to be a dominating force on offense, it remains to be seen whether Amare Stoudemire can carry the Knicks to victory (more specifically, the playoffs) on his own.
Although the initial goal was to sign two star players this summer, the Knicks instead signed Stoudemire and surrounded him with a solid supporting cast. The players around Stoudemire all have to step up their game if the Knicks have legitimate chances at being a serious playoff contender.
Danilo Gallinari will be put to the test this season, as the Knicks will depend on him to be Stoudemire’s right hand man.
With no other dominating force (like Stoudemire) on the roster, it may be reasonable to assume that Stoudemire could average around 25 points per game. He cannot, however, be depended on all by himself.
Is it too much to ask of Gallo (or someone else for that matter) to average 18 points per game? If this can be accomplished, the Knicks will have a nice offensive flow, along with a (hopefully) improved defensive game to take the pressures off Stoudemire.2) Will the Knicks Become a Better Rebounding Squad?
It is no secret that the Knicks have been one of the league’s worst rebounding teams over the last few seasons. With its leading rebounder last season, David Lee, gone, the team will have to look elsewhere for improvement on the glass.
Although Lee averaged close to 12 boards the past two seasons, Knicks’ new-found star Stoudemire has yet to average double-figures in rebounds in his career.
Mike D’Antoni has said he hopes Timofey Mozgov can average 8-10 rebounds per game this season, which may be an issue, as rebounding was never a focus of Mozgov’s while playing internationally.
The team’s best natural rebounder, Ronny Turiaf, will likely not get the type of playing time needed to pull down some meaningful boards.
What will the Knicks’ solution be to this rebounding dilemma? There is hope that some of the team’s smaller players, such as Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, will increase their rebounding numbers from last season to offset what the team is terribly lacking.3) What Will Mike D’Antoni’s Rotation Look Like?
D’Antoni is known for going with a small game rotation, dating back to his days with the Suns. However, with depth being one of the Knicks’ strong suits, and so many players impressing in practice, there has been talk of an unprecedented 11 man rotation this season.
Where each player will fall in the rotation, however, is the question that should be asked.
While Chandler plays out of position at shooting guard, Roger Mason Jr., Bill Walker, and Landry Fields have all been jockeying for minutes at the two-guard. As rumor would have it, Chandler will reportedly be shifted over to power forward as Stoudemire sits out the Knicks preseason game on Saturday night.
This would mean one of those three guards could get the start, although it could be Kelenna Azubuike whom edges them all out for the spot, once he eventually returns from an injury.
Also up for grabs is the starting center position. With Turiaf not yet making a meaningful impact, and Mozgov still adjusting to the NBA game, D’Antoni may opt to move Stoudemire to the five when he returns.
Anthony Randolph, one of the Knicks most heralded young talents, could also play center. However, he is also incredibly versatile, so it may take the coaching staff a while to determine where he fits in exactly.
Although D’Antoni could toy with various lineups all season long, once an initial starting lineup is put into place, it will be easier to see which players will be getting a fair amount of burn off the bench.4) Will Anthony Randolph Be a Stud or a Dud?
The highlight of the David Lee to Warriors trade, Randolph may be the most coveted unleashed talent the Knicks have acquired in quite a while.
The key is obviously unleashing his talent, and that will not happen until the Knicks figure out how Randolph fits in their system. Is he a forward or a center? Is he a starter or a reserve? Can he become a major scorer?
These are all questions surrounding Randolph, but D’Antoni loves the potential that also surrounds him.
That potential (and all the pressures that come with unleashing it) may ultimately be the downfall of Randolph, however, as he has looked confused in orange and blue thus far.
That being said, it is way too early to jump to conclusions. Often noted as “the wildcard” as to whether or not the Knicks make the playoffs, Randolph has an opportunity to fill a void and become the perfect complement to Stoudemire on both ends of the floor if everything goes well.5) Will the Knicks Acquire Carmelo Anthony?
Last season’s struggles and the hype surrounding this past summer put the Knicks in a difficult spot, as many expected LeBron James to don orange and blue this season.
While the Knicks obviously could not successfully lure in LeBron, there is now hope for a competitive future.
Nevertheless, that won’t stop everyone from wondering if Carmelo Anthony will be joining the Knicks by 2011.
Although the talk has died down as of late, rumors of a Melo-to-Knicks trade were hot leading up to training camp. It’s well-known that it is New York whom Anthony wants, so it perhaps may be only a matter of whether the Knicks trade for him before the deadline or sign him outright next summer.
With 11 new faces already on the squad this season, the team may want to let the current players simply play bal. It’s safe to say that the team looks the most competitive it has been in a while, so waiting for the summer to further pursue Anthony (as opposed to disrupting team chemistry or giving up too much in a trade) may be in the Knicks’ best interest.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
"It was the Shaq show in the visiting locker room at Madison Square Garden, where the big fella's voluminous, notebook-filling tendencies had New York scribes lamenting the fact that Shaq declined the Knicks' interest in him early in July. Had LeBron James come to New York, Shaq might have followed, and the atmosphere at MSG for the revamped Knicks' debut on American soil would've been considerably heightened on a baseball-playoff night in mid-October."
Seeing Shaquille O'Neal in orange and blue would have been an interesting development, as he struggled at times in Mike D'Antoni's offense with the Suns.
Nevertheless, having Shaq play in New York, alongside LeBron, would have resulted in one of the most high-profiled duos the Knicks have seen in quite a long time (maybe ever), possibly dating back to the 1970s with Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe.
The Knicks lost to the Celtics last night by a score of 104-101 in their first preseason game at Madison Square Garden this season.
As the score suggests, the game was extremely close. In fact, the Knicks even had a decent lead throughout the game, but Paul Pierce and the Celtics put the game away towards the end with a late jumper.
Nevertheless, the game was a good test for this new Knicks squad. Here are some other Knicks Journal game observations:
- Amare Stoudemire had 30 points in just 27 minutes. It's only the preseason, but he has proven that when his teammates feed him the ball, he will certainly deliver efficiently. The question is, can he carry the Knicks to victory all by himself?
-Timofey Mozgov got the start at center last night. However, he had little impact and had four fouls in just 15 minutes.
- Shaquille O'Neal sat out last night's game for the Celtics. That means Mozgov will have his real first test against a more intense NBA center when the Knicks travel to (surprise, surprise) Boston for a rematch with the Celtics on Saturday night as Shaq returns.
- Mozgov's most glaring statistic may have been the technical foul he received upon displaying frustration at a referee's call. Timo covered his face in his disbelief.
- Also feeling the wrath of the referees last night was the Celtics' Kevin Garnett. After receiving one tech for arguing a call, Garnett laughed it off, only to be given a second tech, and therefore, get ejected from the game. Welcome to the new NBA, KG!
- Besides Amare, Bill Walker may have been the most impressive Knickerbocker last night. Walker made it rain last night, scoring on three shots from beyond the arc on his way to a 4-9 shooting performance, good for 11 points.
- Walker has been playing well enough to deserve a rotation spot over Roger Mason Jr. Mason Jr. was brought in as a veteran three-point shooting presence, and has even received consideration from the coaching staff for a starting spot (he would start at shooting guard, moving Wilson Chandler to power forward and Amare to center), but has struggled to make an impact thus far.
-Ronny Turiaf was second on the team in assists last night with four, behind just Raymond Felton, who finished with six. He also tried cheering Mozgov up after his technical foul.
- Taking some time off from singing some good ole' Justin Bieber, Landry Fields made the most of his opportunity, scoring 6 points and recording 1 steal in 15 minutes.
- Anthony Randolph (five turnovers) failed to make major contributions off the bench last night, as did Toney Douglas and Andy Rautins.
- Rautins, however, was the man Mike D'Antoni chose (maybe not, perhaps it was a rushed play) to inbound the ball to with the game on the line. Rautins (who played a team-low six minutes) threw up an air ball. Eh? Ah, well, it's only the preseason...
That's all, folks.
Although Turiaf appeared to be penciled in as the team’s starting center, Mozgov has impressed in practice, displaying a quick ability to pick up Mike D’Antoni’s style of play.
Mozgov started Wednesday night in the Knicks preseason match-up against the Celtics, but did not impress. He finished with 5 points, shooting 2 for 3 from the field, and had 2 steals, but furthermore, only finished with 3 rebounds and committed 4 fouls in just 15 minutes of play.
Turiaf, however, did not do much to help his case either; while he finished with 4 assists, he only pulled down 3 rebounds in 20 minutes. He also did not score.
While Turiaf is a high-octane energy type of player, Mozgov is the better offensive player with a skillful jump shot.
However, it is not his jumper that will give Mozgov a leg up on Turiaf in remaining a starter. D’Antoni has preached that Mozgov “needs to be a guy who can bring in eight to 10 rebounds.”
It is well known that rebounding is not Mozgov’s strong suit (yet), as he has in the past focused more on boxing out opponents, rather than going to grab the rebound.
In fact, the Knicks do not appear to have anyone (including Amare Stoudemire) on the roster that has proven they can pull down up to 10 rebounds per game.
If it’s rebounding that the Knicks want, though, Turiaf, (not Mozgov) is their man at center.
The question of who should start at center should not begin with whom is the better player, but yet, who fits well with each lineup?
Some of the Knicks’ obvious starters, such as Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, and Stoudemire, have not shown so far to have a rebounding presence. While granted, the preseason has only been three games long, rebounding (along with his defensive presence and energy) is what Turiaf is known for.
Starting Turiaf at center could create a strong balance for the Knicks’ starting lineup on each end of the floor. While he isn’t much of a scorer, his high intensity at the start of each game would be a nice added bonus to the already present four offensive options in Stoudemire, Chandler, Gallinari, and Raymond Felton.
Furthermore, Mozgov would then be able to provide an offensive boost off the bench, without having (as much) pressure on him to rebound the ball.
With enough firepower to start off games already present, Mozgov could pair with Anthony Randolph to provide fits for second unit defenses around the league.
Turiaf is also a tough veteran who knows the big-man competition of the NBA. Throwing Mozgov into the fire to fend off the NBA’s tougher big men may not be the best idea just yet, simply for the fact that Mozgov is still adjusting to the NBA game.
Both players have their strengths, and with rumors of an 11-man rotation, Turiaf and Mozgov are certain to get a lot of burn this season. However, starting Turiaf now gives the Knicks the opportunity to keep the rebounding and defensive intensity high, while keeping the pressures on Mozgov low.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
via New York Post
"I like those guys,'' the former Warriors GM said Friday.
The Post's Marc Berman further reports:
Mullin said Randolph has a lot to offer, but admits he's not sure of his position. The Knicks are now looking at Randolph as a starting center.
"It's been a whole two-year career,'' Mullin said sarcastically. "His talent is incredible. He's a hard worker, good kid. Careers take different paths. His potential is pretty high. Sometimes that's dangerous. Because there is so much talent. Once he gets in a stable situation, he'll do really well.''
Mullin praised Walsh's work in remodeling the Knicks and building around Amar'e Stoudemire.
"Any time you get a star player like that, it makes it easier to evaluate what's around him and what fits around him,'' Mullin said. "The toughest thing in the league is if you don't have that marquee guy, you don't know what fits around guys. Now they have him and they can make legitimate evaluations.''
___________________________________________________________It appears as though Mullin may be on hand to help make such evaluations in the future.
Entering the final year of his contract, Walsh, now 69 years old, is undecided about his future. He finally, however, has seemingly returned the Knicks to respectability by reshaping the team with Amare Stoudemire and company this summer.
Aiding Walsh in the remodeling were Glen Grunwald, John Gabriel (who was responsible for signing Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady to the Magic in 2000), and Allan Houston.
Houston may be the clear favorite out of those three to potentially replace Walsh when the time comes, but there are outside candidates as well.
While owner James Dolan’s plans to bring Isiah Thomas back to the Knicks have been initially foiled by the NBA, there is always a possibly he could return for a second run as general manager.
The New York Daily News reports that Chris Mullin, who was acquired by Walsh as a Pacer during his playing days, may be Walsh’s personal choice to be his replacement.
Mullin is also coincidentally in Italy this week, the same time as the Knicks. His presence is as a representative of the NBA, though, not the team.
After growing up in Brooklyn and playing his college ball at St. John's, Mullin is no stranger to the city. He was previously the G.M. of the Don Nelson-led (the more recent, second stint) Warriors, so there is no doubt he could work well with the high-octane offense personnel already in place by Walsh.
In fact, Mullin is very familiar with certain Knicks, having drafted Anthony Randolph and signing Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf to contracts while with the Warriors.
Although Mullin received criticism for signing players like Corey Maggette, Erick Dampier, and most notably Adonal Foyle to unnecessarily big contracts, he was also the man who brought playoff basketball back to the Bay Area.
Taking risks, Mullin acquired expensive two-time All-Star (but the oft-injured) Baron Davis and brought back Hall of Fame coach Don Nelson in hope of more success.
The risks paid off. Reaching the playoffs for the first time since 1994, the Warriors stunned the NBA as they defeated the first-seeded Mavericks as an eighth-seeded squad in 2007.
He is also still receiving praise (as the selection continues to pay dividends) for the drafting of Monta Ellis in 2005.
Mullin proved with the Warriors that he will do whatever it takes to put his team in the best position to win.
The positives outweigh the negatives on Mullin’s resume. In regards to the bigger contracts he offered, Mullin should not be blamed for “overpaying” for serviceable big men. As any general manager learns, big men command such money one way or another, regardless of talent.
Corey Maggette is also an impressive talent. After signing players like Jamal Crawford and Eddy Curry to ill-advised larger contracts, there is no telling what kind of contract a GM like Thomas would have given Maggette.
However, the Knicks now have much bigger fish to attract than ever before. With Amare Stoudemire already in place, the team appears to be a playoff contender.
Mullin would have to join the Knicks knowing full well the team wants to elevate itself into a championship contender. The recruitment of the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Tony Parker, and/or Chris Paul (all of whom will be free agents in the near future) would be a big first step in that direction.
But yet, who better to sell superstars on the potential of the New York Knicks than a local hero who knows exactly what it’s like to ascend from an underdog to a contender (both as a player and executive)?
Although he is sure to have a lot of competition, Chris Mullin is looking like a prime candidate to be the next general manager of the Knicks.