Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
David Fizdale plans to use Julius Randle all over the floor this season.
"I'm gonna have him handling pick-and-roll. I'm gonna have him setting pick-and-rolls. He'll post and (isolate) and I'll run pindowns for him, cross-screens and pindowns. For a guy like that with that kind of talent I wanna move him around and utilize the skillset from different parts of the floor," Fizdale said Wednesday.
The coach plans to use Randle as a point-forward at times, asking him to bring the ball up for floor when he gets a rebound.
"I think he's an underrated passer. I'm going back through his film now and he does a lot of stuff to help his teammates and he makes good plays," Fizdale said. "He understands the challenge I'm putting to him is leadership, defense and making his teammates better."
Randle was the Knicks' biggest free-agent signing this summer, inking a three-year, $63 million deal. He's expected to start at power forward alongside Mitchell Robinson at center.
There's an open competition for the other starting spots. No matter who fills out the starting five, Fizdale says the Knicks will have more diversity on offense this season.
"More screen-aways, more cross-screens, different motion movements, because, again, we got a lot of different pieces now," Fizdale said. "I want everyone to feel actively involved in the offense."
The Knicks ranked 30th in both points per possession and assist percentage last season. They didn't land a top free agent last summer, they have more offensive talent, so you'd expect those statistics to improve this season.
Here are a few other notes from Wednesday's practice:
Coaches encouraging Robinson to shoot from distance: Fizdale said the coaching staff is on board with Mitchell Robinson shooting 3-pointers.
"We started developing that last year. It can do nothing but help him," Fizdale said. "I don't believe in putting a cap on guys. Mitch isn't going to be bombing four threes a game or anything like that, but I want him to feel confident that he's in the right spacing and that ball finds him that he lets it go without worrying."
Robinson worked on his 3-point shot all offseason and plans to shoot them in games this year.
"He's a really good free throw shooter for a big, so he's got a nice touch and shooting stroke. The coaches have done a really nice job of working with him," Fizdale said. "I think you've seen when he's out there shooting the ball goes in a lot for a big seven-foot guy."
Nick Young attends scrimmages: Free agent Nick 'Swaggy P" Young was among the veterans to play in the Knicks' informal scrimmages in the weeks leading up to training camp.
"He can still play," Fizdale said. "He's Swaggy P."
New Net Lance Thomas and Carmelo Anthony also attended the workouts.
When asked how Anthony looked in the scrimmages, RJ Barrett said, "He was good, he was good. I mean it's Carmelo Anthony, come on."
Barrett will be competing with Allonzo Trier, Wayne Ellington, Reggie Bullock (when he returns) and others at shooting guard this season.
Here's what Fizdale expects of Trier entering Year 2: "One, I want to see him get his three ball off more and not be so dependent on playing off the dribble so much, being willing to move the ball when the play calls for it. And then becoming a better rebounder from the guard position. Those are things that we've talked about a lot."