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2009 Training Camp

Don't look now (thanks for beating me to punch haS) but guess who's back?

One of the very reasons why people, I believe, ?have doubts about Danilo Gallinari, is because they've been told European players were supposed to be special only to see the ones drafted by New York fail to make any impact.

Case in point is Maciej Lampe.

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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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Had the chance to sneak in at lunchtime and saw a lot of the same things on the court for the first few minutes. Sloppy play and missed shots.

But the one thing that I really noticed was how vocal and energized Mike D'Antoni was, constantly pointing out that things need to be done right.

If you don't think that the man knows offense, here's an example.

Tags: 2009 Training Camp, Danilo Gallinari, Mike D'Antoni, Toney Douglas, Wilson Chandler
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Via nyknicks.com

"...Rookies Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas were all smiles when talking about stepping on the Madison Square Garden floor for the first time as New York Knicks. They couldn?t help but express their excitement of playing in front of their new hometown fans.

But don?t let them confuse you. The nerves are definitely there leading up to Tuesday night?s Garden opener against the Philadelphia 76ers in New York?s third preseason game.

Tags: 2009 Training Camp, Toney Douglas
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Via Isola-
"...Gallinari, whose rookie season ended abruptly when he underwent back surgery, has struggled to find his shot in the Knicks' first two preseason games. The 6-foot-10 forward has made just three of 13 shots, including 1-for-7 on Friday against the Celtics.

"I think he's in a little bit of a funk with his shot," says Mike D'Antoni, who on the eve of training camp called Gallinari the best shooter he'd ever seen. "I haven't seen him make one since I said it."

Gallinari claims that his back is strong and yet his overall fitness doesn't seem ready for the grind of an 82-game regular season. It's understandable considering the amount of time Gallinari missed. The Knicks are hopeful that between now and the club's Oct. 28 season opener in Miami, Gallinari will continue to build the strength in his legs - which is crucial, especially for a shooter..."

Tags: 2009 Training Camp, Danilo Gallinari, David Lee, Mike D'Antoni
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Via Zagsblog.

"...GREENBURGH, N.Y. ? When the Knicks take the Madison Square Garden floor Tuesday night for their preseason home opener against the Philadelphia 76ers, Eddy Curry won?t take a single shot or grab a single rebound.

But Knicks President Donnie Walsh wants the 7-foot, 317-pound Curry back as soon as humanly possible.

Tags: 2009 Training Camp, Donnie Walsh, Eddy Curry
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Via thenyknicks Twitter:
"...You're Invited - Knicks Open Practice! This Saturday, Oct. 17 @ The Rose Hill Gym @ Fordham Univ. Admission is free. Doors open @ 11:15..."
Rose Hill has been the site of many a great CHSAA high school battle from Kenny Anderson to Felipe Lopez and Rice battling St. Raymond's in the 1990s. I'll be there some come say hello.

Click here for directions to Fordham.

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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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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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Via Adamek:
"...Mike D'Antoni said that Nate Robinson's inability to control his emotions was a factor in the Knicks' decision not to sign Robinson to a multi-year contract.

Robinson received a one-year contract just before training camp opened.

"That's why he [got] a one-year contract," D'Antoni said of the exuberance that often gets the better of Robinson on the court. "That's why we won 32 games."

Tags: 2009 Training Camp, Mike D'Antoni
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Via Press Release:

New York Knickers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that forward Warren Carter and guards Ron Howard, Gabe Pruitt and Sun Yue have been waived. The Knicks roster stands at 16 players.

I liked what I saw from Carter, it just seemed that he was a bit of a 3-4 tweener. Yue, Howard and most of all Pruitt were relative non-factors during their time at training camp.

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A ton of emails and several comments are clamoring at me to see the Boston game as some sort of test for this Knicks team.

Great.

All fair and are spoke with great passion, but pardon me if I don't get it.

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I know that the Toney Douglas audio was difficult to hear. I asked him first, what he took out of this week and he mentioned that the veterans are really doing a great job of helping him understand the game on the fly to make sure that his positives outweigh the negatives. Secondly, I asked him if playing for Leonard Hamilton, who coached the Wizards for a brief time, has helped him adjust to the NBA game from a system standpoint. He basically responding by saying that Florida State had a similar up-tempo style that ran a lot of pick and rolls, so yes it's similar and allows him to be more comfortable.



TD did some serious work today both on the ball defensively, rebounding and knocking down shots. He's not a shooting guard or combo guard. He's a pure 1 on both sides of the ball.
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Coach D'Antoni unveiled tomorrow's starting lineup, choosing to start and reward the veterans. He was quick to tell us that he's more concerned with who finishes than who starts, and hopes the players are as well.

PG- Chris Duhon

SG- Larry Hughes

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In speaking with Donnie Walsh Friday morning, the Knicks president answered a very simple question of mine with a very simple answer.

The answer?

"The coach."

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  • Spoke to Danilo Gallinari who agreed that his legs were a little tired when I noted it looked like he was flat on his jumpshot last night. He said the key, for him, is to keep shooting, and knowing that ?the next one is going to drop. We know what D'Antoni said about his shooting, and quite honestly when he can catch and set it's automatic.
  • D'Antoni wants to see more explosion from the kid and that will come with age and time. He's not where he'd like him to be in terms of beating a guy off the dribble. The coach mentioned how he likes how Hedo Turkoglu can make plays off the pick and roll off the dribble and foresees Gallinari having a similar impact from a playmaking standpoint.
  • D'Antoni was also quick to mention Raja Bell as one of the best defenders he'd ever coached. Bell is reportedly on the block in Charlotte.?
  • Donnie Walsh really filled me in on how this system can help Darko Milicic. It's not your classic run to the block and post up, and Darko is a good elbow to elbow big man. But he said D'Antoni, and most specifically Herb Williams, can teach Darko to want the ball more with his back to the basket.
  • Walsh and Larry Hughes had a good long discussion on the sidelines. Hughes' role hasn't been overly defined yet. Interested to see if he gets more work with Lee, Harrington and Duhon.?
Heading back to camp in a few hours and will have more video from the scrimmages. As always, you can follow live updates on Twitter.
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Hahn and I were both very impressed with Jeffries yesterday, and his play has never gone unnoticed from the coaching staff. Remember, he had an impressive start to camp last year before being sidelined with injury.

"...Isiah brought me in knowing the type of player I am, and he wanted me to be something else," said Jeffries, a standout in last night's workout at Skidmore College. "That's not his fault or my fault; it was just a misunderstanding between both of us. But now I have a coach who understands what I can bring to the table and what I can do."

One thing Jeffries has proved he can do well is guard point guards, and D'Antoni used him against the likes of Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul. His quickness lets him stay with them and his size allows him to switch to a big man on a pick-and-roll. On offense, his smarts on the perimeter fit D'Antoni's ball-movement philosophy, and he gets up the floor quickly. He has struggled with consistency on his jumper, but his strengths make him a player D'Antoni will include in his rotation.

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Also, our boy Seth came thru with the video...I'm locked and loaded to come through with mine for the rest of the week starting tomorrow. Tell your friends that TKB will have video too.

Tags: 2009 Training Camp, Where 2010 happens
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Kudos to our boy Seth from P&T for extracting the stellar info.
"...Day 1 of training camp is finished, and I just got to watch about an hour of five-on-five scrimmaging. I did a couple interviews which I'll probably post very early tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I'll type up these notes for y'all and tell you what I saw:

Eddy Curry- You've probably already read it elsewhere, but Eddy appeared to aggravate his injured right calf while grabbing a rebound. He limped off the floor about ten minutes into scrimmages and didn't return. He said it's just a strain and he's day-to-day.

Danilo Gallinari- Gallo kept moving well in the full-court scrimmages, and continued to show off his offensive repertoire. He wasn't all that active off the ball, but after a catch he wasn't just settling for jumpers. There were a couple nice fakes and dribbles for short jumpers, a spinning lefty layup (that rimmed out), and a couple vicious dunks, including one complete facial on Jordan Hill (prompting David Lee to put his thumb to his forehead and yell "The Rooster!"). As for the jump shot, Gallo wasn't quite as automatic as he'd been in practice. He missed a few early, and angrily ripped the bandage off his right hand following one brick. It's not like he was shooting poorly, though. Anything less than perfection from the field surprises me when it comes to Gallinari. I did get a chance to see the cut on his hand up close and it ain't no scratch. more.

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Via Berman's Twitter:
"...Admitting that he did not properly emphasize defense last season, Mike D'Antoni told the media on Tuesday that he has set a goal for the Knicks to be in the top half of the league on defense.

Last season, the Knicks were last in shot-blocking and gave up the third-most points in the league on the third-highest field goal percentage allowed..."

Dallas was 15th in the NBA in points allowed last season at a shade under 100 ppg (99.8). Not shockingly, Cleveland, LA, Boston and Orlando led the league in point differential. The Knicks were 22nd giving up two more points than they scored.

Tags: 2009 Training Camp, Mike D'Antoni
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Obviously, without question, the air surrounding this team was much easier to breathe with you know who not being here. Last season, all eyes were focused on Marbury and it really showed and weighed on the other players. This year the atmosphere is completely different.

David Lee and Nate Robinson want to be here and want to win, and if they need any assurances as to why the bigger teams didn't come calling this off season, economy aside, Al Harrington is sure to set the straight- in a good way.

"I averaged 19 a game in Atlanta in my contract year and Ben Wallace got paid before me and alot more," Harrington told me. "Ben got W's. That's what it's all about in this league."
Without question, but it's also about togetherness, another thing that Harrington will be sure to stress to his teammates.

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To echo a bit of Chris' sentiments, I'm very excited to see Al Harrington for a full season. In fairness to the trades, which many people blamed was the reason our playoff run was shot, I think Harrington is the best forward at this point in the system even if he does end up coming off the bench.

He has to believe that his teammates can step up and he also has to be a huge factor in making that happen. He has to lead.I also am very curious to see how Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Harrington share minutes together.

Some of my questions will be answered next week. I will be in Saratoga Thursday for training camp giving live updates until the first preseason game on Saturday.

Tags: 2009 Training Camp, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler
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