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2009 Season

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Via the Pioneer Press:
"...We know we have a young team with a new coaching staff and a new culture, but we don't want to overly rely on those things as crutches," he said. "At some point, we need to stop talking about those things. We're all accountable, myself especially."

Kahn made numerous moves in the offseason, sparing only five players from last season's roster. Before the season, he consistently maintained that the team would struggle. He asked for patience from fans and projected a "two- to three-year plan" for turning the team around.

Monday's performance, however, challenged Kahn to remain positive.

Tags: 2009 Season, Donnie Walsh, Ricky Rubio, Wilson Chandler
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I feel like I should apologize based on the fact that watching this team during camp and preseason led me to believe that they were working on building something.

Talking to players and coaches, it seemed that everyone was on the same page and motivated.

They aren't.

Tags: 2009 Season, Mike D'Antoni
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We can write all that we want in the season previews about what to

expect, but we all know that none of us have any clue what will

happen, and more than anything we are all just hungry for some hoops.

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I used Eric Live's original anthem on my radio show. That was pre-TKB. Since then Eric has brought one every year and this one is pretty strong.

Check it out.

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Via Westcheddar: One of the hippest blogs around in terms of music, sports and all around coolness from my boy and White Plains legend Dan Isenberg. BTW, I was Digger Phelps.
"...The Yankees are in the World Series, but the NBA season starts this week, and as much as we love baseball, it?s hoops that we?re most passionate about here at Westcheddar.? I rounded up my top basketball analysts to give us a breakdown of what?s going on in the NBA, NCAA, and even with the local High Schools too. ?Tommy Dee writes and does commentary for The Knicks Blog, has appeared all over the TV dial from SNY to CNN, and coaches with Stepinac High School in White Plains. ?Johnny Halas writes for The Jockosphere, and this season is transitioning from playing pro ball with the Rochester Razorsharks to coaching at Amherst College.? And Brian Duignan co-hosts The Yellow Brick Road, a New York Knicks online radio talk show, and also coaches the modified boys team in Mamaroneck.

These are local guys who live and breathe basketball.? I roomed with Tommy and Brian down at University of Maryland, where Brian managed the Terps for four years, and it was like living with Digger Phelps and Al Trautwig.? And Johnny, well I remember when I used to rock his world in One on One back in the day living next door to him on Ogden Avenue, and now I probably wouldn?t be able to get a shot off.? He?s gearing up to be the next Bill Walton.? Let?s hear what these guys have to say?

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?It is a mistake to look too far ahead.? The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.?? ~ Sir Winston Churchill

Another start to a season, and another quote to start my preview.? While this season is not as dramatic as what Churchill was discussing, the same principle applies.? It is foolish to look beyond this season and focus on July 1, 2010.? There is a full season of Knicks basketball to be played first.? If the Knicks are to reach championship status in the next few years, this team has to continue to grow and develop an identity this season.

Coming off a 32 win season, the Knicks clearly have a lot to prove.? There is no denying that.? Without dwelling too heavily on last season, it is fair to say that the team was one of the worst defensive teams in the league.? But that was last season (we hope).

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Going into the 2009-2010 season I like every true Knick fan around the world tries with all their heart to be optimistic. However, we must also be realistic. If we don't hold team officials accountable for their decisions who is to say they will put a sincere effort into making positive changes? If they still sell out all the games no matter how terrible they might be it would likely lull them into inactivity. The main thing on everybody's mind now a day seems to be next season. We should not be tempted to think of the 2009-2010 campaign as an afterthought. If the Knicks make no significant improvements from last season who can honestly expect Donnie Walsh to attract any big name free agents? It seems as though team officials have proscribed to this notion of a one track mind on next summer. From Lebron James to Dwayne Wade to Chris Bosh they all have the same interest. TO HAVE THE BEST CHANCE AT WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP! Simply having the most money is not going to cut it. The one roster move which frustrates me each and every day is the drafting of Jordan Hill. How can your #8 pick not even break the rotation? Meanwhile their #29 pick Toney Douglas is a lock to make the rotation. As stated in Dan Tomasino's article, Douglas has progressed nicely through summer league and training camp. When the Knicks open their season Wednesday against the Heat in Miami, Douglas likely will play a more prominent role than lottery pick Jordan Hill. "He will be a significant part of the rotation," D'Antoni said. "And hopefully keep growing into a bigger role." To me this is simply unacceptable. Being that our draft rights in 2010 go to the Utah Jazz this was our last top 10 pick for the foreseeable future. Despite this fact at least the Knicks partially made up for their error in judgment with the excellent late first round pick of Toney Douglas.

Now to all mighty salary cap issue. The salary cap has shrunk minimally over the past few days with the Knicks picking up the options on Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. To me this was a no-brainer. Both players will play a crucial role in the future of this team. Gallinari's ball handing and shooting capabilities for a 6-11 player reminds me of a young Dirk Nowitzki. Once he fills out the sky is the limit for this kid. As far as Wilson Chandler is concerned, it has been quite a while since the Knicks have had someone so young (22 years old) who is such a freak of an athlete. I have nothing but praise for both players attitudes and potential... kudos to Donnie Walsh on these moves. The two players which pose the biggest threat to the sacred salary cap are Jared Jeffries and Eddy Curry. Jared Jeffries player option for the 2010-2011 season is $6,883,400. Eddy Curry's similar player option is a staggering $11,276,863. Combined that is an $18,160,263 chunk out of the 2010-2011 salary cap reserved for our two most precious players (insert chuckle here). I have been at each of the Knicks home preseason games and Jared Jeffries has actually looked impressive compared to his dismal last season. Due to this fact I believe the Knicks actually have a great chance at moving Jeffries to a team that isn't going to be a major player in next years free agency bonanza. Regarding Eddy Curry what is there to say? It seems like he has been surrounded by nothing but problems throughout his Knick career (another great Isiah move). Most people likely believe it would be impossible to shed his contract but then again the Chicago Bulls did take Jerome James off of our hands. Excluding the two player options mentioned above the only players on the books for next season are Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas. Clearly there will be tons of movement between now and next season but this is a nice core of young players going forward.

Lastly, I can't overstate how shrewd Donnie Walsh is to play the contract year to his advantage. Instead of throwing long term deals at both Nate Robinson and David Lee, which would have hurt our chances to sign a big name free agent, he is forcing them to prove themselves and have the seasons of their lives. Whether it be Al Harrington, David Lee or Nate Robinson each player has everything to gain and a lot of money to loose if their performance this season isn't beyond the norm. Being a season ticket holder I have a unique inside perspective to the New York Knicks on daily basis. I look forward to providing all TBK followers with positive news throughout the season.

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Look around and grab your friendly neighborhood NBA preview and, if you are a Knicks fan, you can't be really too excited about what you see.

But previews are as meaningful, to me, as VIP passes to a high school game.

As expected, the team is ready to prove its doubters wrong and that journey begins down in South Beach against one of the game's best, who has a habit of destroying the Knicks.

Tags: 2009 Season, David Lee, Mike D'Antoni
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So the questions have been posed towards Coach D'Antoni for well-over a week now in terms of the starting lineup and rotation, and there has been little-to-no clarity on either subject.

Other than assuming that Larry Hughes, who won't be bought out, is on the outside looking in, as well as the developing Jordan Hill, it's tough to tell what the combination will be.

Tags: 2009 Season, Danilo Gallinari, David Lee, Mike D'Antoni, Toney Douglas, Wilson Chandler
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Our good buddy Robert Silverman is banging the keys for knickerblogger.net, and he has an offering through several installments, for the upcoming season.

"...With the 2010 season nearly upon us, it?s time to go into season preview mode. We?re going to kick it off with a look at the players in a 4 part series, followed by more Knickly goodness. We?re going to run right up to the start of the season (save for a weekend breather). So here we go?

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I had the chance to be interviewed for one of my favorite outlets, Crain's New York, where Dan Massey wanted to yap about all things Knicks. Dan is a strong writer, and a big Knick fan so he gets the finger point on a great piece on the direction of the team from a business standpoint as the team readies itself for this summer.

"...MSG Sports President Scott O'Neil says that the team has sold nearly 2,400 new season-ticket packages so far for 2009-10 (the third-most in the NBA), compared with about 1,500 new ones at this time last year. Some 30 new sponsors have signed on with the Knicks, including Amtrak, Burger King and Time Warner Cable. Traffic on the official Knicks.com Web site was up 30% in September versus the year-earlier period.

?First and foremost, you have the best coach on the planet,? Mr. O'Neil says. ?The second thing is, fans continue to say Donnie Walsh is a proven winner. He has a plan, and he's sticking to it.?

Tags: 2009 Season, Where 2010 happens
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It only took slightly over a year, but some fans have wasted little time in voicing their displeasure in regards to the state of the Knicks. The consensus, from what I'm gathering, is the idea that Donnie Walsh's plan not to extend into his 2010 piggy bank has not allowed for this team to be good enough to make the playoffs this season. It is a playoff appearance and playoff appearance only, these fans think, that will lure a player of LeBron James' caliber to New York this summer.In fact, some players on the team have already spoken on the subject,something that the organization can't be too thrilled about.

Guard Larry Hughes told Frank Isola of the Daily News that he believes James, the Knicks' primary free agent target, will re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers

"I still feel that way," Hughes said following the Knicks' practice Wednesday. "He's got a good opportunity to win there. And I know a lot of people talk about him playing in a big market, but he just wants to win a ring. It's not about playing in a big market."

Tags: 2009 Season, 2009 Training Camp, Mike D'Antoni, Where 2010 happens
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Through two games of the preseason, Ramon Sessions isn't exactly lighting it up in Minnesota. Through 40 minutes, Sessions has racked up 6 assists and 7 turnovers and has taken just 9 field goal attempts in two games. Does it appear, at least on the surface, that Sessions' NBA experience hasn't allowed for a promotion but yet another situation where he has to split time? He would have been a 20-25 minute-per-game player here too and would have held the distinction of being the first, post-2010 contract of the Walsh Era.

So Sessions defenders can insert the excuses below.

In his last game against the Bulls, Brandon Jennings managed 3-12 from the field and 6 points in 25 minutes. Yes, I am aware that Jennings had an "impressive" showing against the Pistons where he had 18 points, 6 assists and 6 steals, but he also, had 5 turnovers. Again, if you wish Jennings were here feel free to explain his struggles below.

Tags: 2009 Season, 2009 Summer League, Brandon Jennings, Danilo Gallinari, Donnie Walsh, Eddy Curry, Toney Douglas
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We all know the Knicks brass had their sights set on upgrading the the point-guard position only to see far too many obstacles get in the way this off season.What the team is left with is Chris Duhon, a player whose pick-and-roll ability is right on top of the league in terms of efficiency. In fact, it's not a stretch to say that Duhon and David Lee have John Stockton and Karl Malone-esque telepathy. A stretch? Maybe, but when you see the efficiency of the two, there are few duos who can complete a screen and roll even when the defense is primed to take it away. Simply put, it was the Knicks' bread and butter last year.

But the butter went sour when Duhon couldn't stay on the court for the entire season, breaking down as the minutes mounted. Duhon, admittedly, wasn't prepared for the grind of playing the most minutes of his NBA career, 1,500 more than his last year in Chicago to be exact.

Regardless of what the Knicks failed to do over the summer, they are still very much in favor of Duhon's ability to lead the team and be Coach Mike D'Antoni's extension on the floor.

Tags: 2009 Season, 2009 Training Camp, Mike D'Antoni
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Got the chance to sneak into practice as the team prepares for tomorrow's second preseason game against the Celtics in Boston.

Good action all around and I'm here to tell you that Darko Milici's knee was in good shape, even enough to allow him to knock down a few open jumpers.

Toney Douglas continued to get over screen after screen, which caused Nate Robinson fits. Nate couldn't free himself for an open look and the one time Douglas had to switch, Nate didn't recognize Milicic posting TD inside. Nate reversed the ball, which was fine as Al Harrington knocked down an open jumper.

Tags: 2009 Season, Toney Douglas
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Seriously, who cares about predictions? Predictions are only useful if the current group? of players that is trying to come together for a common goal stays together the whole year, and doesn't get battered with injuries. This time last year people were saying whatever they were saying about the Knicks, then the entire roster shifted several weeks later. Granted, those predictions still suggested that the Knicks were a 30-ish win team, but what's so special about that?

If you're in the habit of reading a prediction from a couple of people who haven't watched one minute of training camp and maybe a few minutes of a preseason game then head to BDL.

"...Donnie Walsh is the right executive for this team. Mike D'Antoni's the right coach. And soon enough, they'll have the right players. Or, at least, they'll have a chance at them. And it's just not worth commenting on any of these players because they won't be Knicks in 12 months time. Danilo Gallinari(notes) will be, and he looks like a stud. Jordan Hill looks solid, for a thin draft at least. Others might come back, but if Knicks fans have any say, they'll be role players. Even the ones who are brilliant, like Lee. Or explosive, like Robinson.

So take in one more year of nonsense. It might not net you LeBron or Bosh or Wade or even Carlos Boozer(notes).

Tags: 2009 Season, 2009 Training Camp
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While some Knicks fans wished for the team to make offseason moves, the end result is a summer of relative silence. Whether one thinks that adding Ramon Sessions and dipping into the 2010 piggy bank was a move that Donnie Walsh should have made, it is a rather moot point.

The fact that Walsh didn't pull the trigger to try to sign the restricted free-agent point guard seemingly had more to do with economics more so than how the organization felt about the 23-year-old floor general's on-court ability. A source close to the situation told me that Mike D'Antoni seemed "gung ho" about the idea during the summer, but in the end Walsh was determined not to cut into the 2010 budget, especially after a July memo from the NBA hit the wires noting that the salary cap could come down even further next summer.

There are sentiments from fans who believe it is imperative that the team makes the playoffs if it has any chance to lure a big-time free agent over the summer. I agree and also feel that it's important to keep the Utah Jazz, owners of the Knicks' 2010 first-round draft pick, out of the lottery and a playoff berth would obviously assure that. Plus, it would give the young players on the roster valuable experience and showcase for the first time in a while just how loud the Garden can be during important games in the spring. More.

Tags: 2009 Season, Donnie Walsh, Mike D'Antoni, NBA for SNY.tv, Toney Douglas
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Via Hahn's Twitter:

"...Knicks made it official: Gabe Pruitt signed. Hearing it's a non-guaranteed invite to training camp..."

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The Knicks' lack of offseason acquisitions has drawn praise from fans who are committed to the idea of waiting until the summer of 2010, and drawn ire from the impatient folks who think that the team is foolishly putting its eggs in one basket.For me, the bottom line is if Donnie Walsh still thinks he has a chance to land a superstar free agent by not adding salary to his roster after this year, then I would trust him if I were a Knicks fan.

But that doesn't mean that devoted fans, the ones who still root and watch 82 games a year, should be forced to watch another year of wretched basketball.

Last year, the team competed but was overmatched most nights, especially up front. Walsh added talented yet disappointing Darko Milicic, who could really stand out early in the year because he is a pick and roll big man. Along with Milicic the team will have Eddy Curry at their disposal. This is where the questions start.? Read more...

Tags: 2009 Season, Danilo Gallinari, David Lee, Donnie Walsh, Eddy Curry, Mike D'Antoni
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We know Ramon Sessions is playing the waiting game, as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wrote about today, but there is a key point worth noting.
"...The Knicks clearly expressed a strong interest in Sessions, but they were unwilling to do anything to compromise their chances of signing LeBron James or another elite free agent (Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh) in the summer of 2010. In a two-year contract offer to Sessions, they could only make an 8% decrease in the second year of the deal, leaving them with less flexibility next summer.

The only way the Knicks could have signed Sessions to a one-year deal would be if the Bucks rescinded their qualifying offer. And why would the Bucks want to help an Eastern Conference foe by essentially handing New York the promising point guard?.."

This whole thing is unprecedented as far as I can tell. Last year, as a form of reference, Ben Gordon AGREED to play for the qualifying offer, but my first question is what if he didn't? Granted, Gordon was a first round pick and that has CBA implications as well, but could he have then become unrestricted and signed with a team at that point? Can the Knicks, then, offer Sessions a one-year raise that won't cut into the 2010 budget should he reject the qualifying offer October 1st? There's zero reason to believe that he would want to return to Milwaukee with the current roster then have to go and do this all over again next year. As the JS post states, as a second round pick and lack of service, he won't be unrestricted next season should he return on the qualifying offer. Wouldn't this situation bring more suitors, like Miami, into the mix as well?

Tags: 2009 Active Off season, 2009 Season, David Lee
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ESPN.com contributors voted on where the top four free agents of 2010 (Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudamire, and Chris Bosh) will land. ?Just more speculation, really, but ESPN's prognostications are obviously going to be more accurate than everybody?else's,?right?Out of 52 voters, 35 said he would stay in Cleveland (how shocking?) and the Knicks came in second with 8 votes. ?Miami got 3, New Jersey got 2, and Boston got 1.

"Despite the cards Cleveland holds, some still see New York as King James' destiny. And they might have a leg to stand on, thanks to LeBron himself, as he has become the master of the mixed message. That was heard again most recently in his interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, in which he avoided the opportunity to express loyalty to Cleveland and pointedly said his heart was in his hometown of Akron:

Tags: 2009 Season, Amar'e Stoudemire, David Lee, Donnie Walsh, Dwyane Wade, Eddy Curry, Where 2010 happens
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This is courtesy of ESPN, who have compiled votes on several topics including what they call "Team Turmoil."

The Pistons, who spent plenty of money during the off season on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, finished tied for 1st with 8 votes along with Golden State.

The Knicks finished tied for 4th along with the Clippers and Timberwolves.

Tags: 2009 Season, David Lee, Donnie Walsh
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Via Tommy Craggs of New York Magazine

"...By general consensus, this year?s edition of the Knicks will be less a basketball squad than a placeholder for whatever team president Donnie Walsh can haul in over next year?s free-agent-rich (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade) off-season. But there are still a few reasons not to give up all hope.

1. Danilo Gallinari When the Knicks? oft-injured top 2008 draft pick did play last year, he asserted himself as a deadly shooter?44 percent on threes?and according to 82games.com, the woeful Knicks actually outscored their opponents when Gallinari was on the floor. Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus, who uses historical comparisons to project a player?s performance, pegs Gallinari as a league-average player this year. Since he?s just 21, that means eventual star potential: a J.R. Smith with fewer tattoos, a Dirk Nowitzki with more tattoos.? He?s a good player with one tattoo, is what we?re saying.

Tags: 2009 Season, Danilo Gallinari, Donnie Walsh
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Via Ricky Henne, nyknicks.com
"...NYKnicks.com: First off, thanks for talking with us today.

Al Harrington: Of course. No problem.

NYKnicks.com: So how?s your summer been? How?ve you been keeping busy?

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Via Isola:

"...The Knicks will open the 2009-10 season on the road in Miami on October 28th, according to a team source. The home opener is two days later, on a Saturday, against Philadelphia.

The NBA will formally release its schedule at 1 p.m.

UPDATE: Here's the full schedule..."

Also, via Tweet, Alan Hahn says that Sessions agent does not expect an offer today.
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