By John Schmeelk
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So the media got to interrogate the various members of the Knicks organization on Monday, from general manager Glen Grunwald to head coach Mike Woodson to new Spanish point guard Pablo Prigioni. Here were some of the topics and my take.
– I couldn’t get much more out of the team than “we did not have the same level of commitment as the Rockets” in regards to Jeremy Lin. It’s vague and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, since the Knicks were willing to commit for four seasons at more total money. Just admit you didn’t want to spend the cash in year three. Admit you were annoyed that the Rockets switched their offer sheet. As usual, the Garden spins nonsense and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
– Carmelo Anthony spoke a good game (for a while) when he said he “wasn’t going to try to score 30-40 points a game.” Of course, he later added, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to score.” Even on Knicks spin day, Anthony couldn’t get it 100 percent right. Typical. But his larger point was that he is ready to sacrifice for the good of the team. Let’s see him do it.
– Amar’e Stoudemire mentioned how the team is going to be tight-knit, and it won’t let anything disrupt its chemistry. That sounds nice, but considering his track record so far with Anthony, I’m going to need to see a lot more than words. His (at least for now) dormant bulging disk is a greater concern to me. You just know that’s going to flare up at the worst time. It is the Knicks, after all.
– The Knicks were quick to go to the “Don’t worry Jeremy Lin is gone, (because) Ray Felton is here and he isn’t out of shape!” Felton succeeded in Mike D’Antoni’s offense, but can he do the same in Woodson’s? Let’s find out.
– The Knicks’ age is overrated. I’ll get into this more in a future story, but the major minute guys are all in their prime. Kurt Thomas, Prigioni and Rasheed Wallace will all likely play under 15 minutes per game. Jason Kidd won’t play more than 25. The core of the team is still in their prime years.
– Kidd was referred to as a father figure, a hint of how old he actually is. Unlike many, I think his winning presence will be valuable.
The bottom line about any media day is that it’s all talk. It means nothing until the players practice what they preach. Practice starts on Tuesday, and the first preseason game isn’t until next Thursday. Words are only words. This team has the talent to compete if they play the right way. Can they?
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Alright Knicks fans, you’re on the spot — time for a pre-preseason prediction. What will the Knicks’ record be this season, and what seed will they get if they make the playoffs? Let us know what you think in the comments section below…