Hey look at that: the sky isn’t falling!
Had a lot of fun watching this game tonight: the game was played at a nice pace, I got into two quasi-intense twitter discussions, and my friend from back east kept BBM-ing me pictures from her half court seats behind Clyde and Breen. Pretty much a win all around… oh, except the Knicks lost.
But guess what? It doesn’t matter that they lost! It’s the preseason, remember? We won’t be forced to watch Andy Rautins and Ronny Turiaf on the floor during crunch time. The following tweet from Alan Hahn of Newsday pretty much sums it all up:
Doc went for the win, D’Antoni kept the subs in until the end. Pierce’s j wins it for Boston, 104-101. – @alanhahn
Also, for those of you who were doing lots of complaining about the T-Wolves game, here’s MSG’s Tina Cervasio:
Coach was experimenting w combos & wanted 2 rest Amar’e in 4th. Lots of improvement – @MSGTina
Random player thoughts:
- Not to beat a dead horse, but the team definitely looked more like a cohesive unit than individuals running around tonight. This is definitely a good thing.
- Gallo really looks more athletic this year and less stiff. I guess his back has made a full recovery. Good to see him putting the ball on the floor more tonight and taking the ball to the basket. He also had a couple of nice cuts to the hoop which either led to a bucket or drew a foul. Would like to see more of that and would like to see him post up some more.
- Roger Mason Jr. inspires wild shifts in how I feel about him. Sometimes I think he is terrible, other times I say “Whoa, who was THAT!?” Ultimately, he seems like a player who wants Jamal Crawford’s game, but without Crawford’s talent level. Not sure that is a winning combo.
- Wilson Chandler continues to impress me and he has easily been the most consistent player this preseason. Again, it is only the preseason, but Chandler’s ballhandling looks much improved, he looks more confident taking his shot, and is simply more assertive overall. There were a couple of times when he took the ball to the rim with good results.
- I thought Bill Walker played better tonight. He shot was falling and he looked explosive. I had pondered on Twitter a while back (I think it was Twitter) that maybe it was taking Bill some time to get used to the weight differential. I remember when I dropped a lot of weight there was a slight adjustment period to my new size, and I was just a dude lifting weights at the NYSC, not a pro athlete competing with other elite athletes. I could see Walker supplanting Roger Mason in the lineup that has Amar’e shift to center and Chandler shift to PF.
- Amar’e Stoudemire is a beast. That is all.
- Timofey Mozgov got his first start and looked pretty solid. He also got his first NBA technical foul. Nice work, Timofey. However, I wonder if it might be a good idea for D’Antoni to take the same approach to Mozgov as Stan Van Gundy takes with Marcin Gortat. Basically, Van Gundy wants Gortat to focus on defending, rebounding, and running the floor. With Amar’e, Gallo, Chandler, and Felton on the floor, the Knicks really don’t need Mozgov to score. Maybe if D’Antoni scaled back his responsibilities on offense and told him to focus on rebounding, defending, and running the floor the way van Gundy has with Gortat we would see Mozgov become more of a force on the boards. Rebounding, after all, is about positioning and desire. One can become a better rebounder by sheer force of will. And let’s face it, with Amar’e on this team, he is going to be doing the bulk of the low post scoring.
- There seemed to be some concern on Twitter that Anthony Randolph being in D’Antoni’s doghouse. We’ll see how things shake out in the next game, but it seemed like Randolph played a heckuva lot in the first two games, so maybe Coach D was getting some longer looks at other players? Only time will tell. Could also be D’Antoni sending Randolph a message to be more prudent in his shot selections.
- Don’t have much to say about Toney Douglas, Andy Rautins, or Landry Fields. Douglas played his usual strong defensive game but the offense stalled at times with him running the show. I still think he has considerable potential as a PG. Rautins and Fields were their usual selves but didn’t pop out at me like last game.
- Ronny Turiaf took a shot to his nether regions, which is never a good time. Otherwise he did the Turiafy things we’ve come to expect from him.
- Lastly, I am honestly starting to get concerned about Raymond Felton. He again looked out of sorts on offense, but again, you would hope things will smooth out once he becomes more acclimated with the system and his teammates. However, watching him play against Rondo makes you realize that he just isn’t in the same stratosphere as a guy like Rondo when it comes to talent. There were times when Rondo made Felton look downright slow and Felton didn’t look as explosive as you’d like him to look. While I am certainly not one to sound the alarm, and it is still early, but Felton is a player to monitor.
Random Team Thoughts:
- Yes, rebounding is going to be an issue. The only way to solve it is a team-wide effort to crash the boards. Either that or Amar’e realizing he is a physical freak and decide to grab every rebound possible and if he can average 25/10 he would increase his profile considerably.
- Team shooting: Why is there so much concern about outside shooting? Gallinari is obviously an awesome 3 pt shooter. Felton is ok, Walker and Chandler have looked good thus far in the preseason, Mason is supposed to be a sniper, Rautins can reign threes, and Douglas is a better 3 pt shooter than most people realize. That’s not even counting Azubuike, who is still recovering from his knee injury.
- Ball movement: Guys, the ball movement is awesome, but sometimes you have to take the shot. There were a few times when there was too much ball movement with players passing up good looks, only to see a Knicks player rush a shot before there was a shot clock violation. Let’s work on moving the ball to find an open look… and then shooting.
Overall I was pleased with the team’s performance and can’t wait until the ball goes up for real. Here are your game recaps from around the net: The Knicks Blog, ESPN NY – Knicks Blog, Posting & Toasting, Knickerblogger, Knicks Vision, and Knick Knacks.