A Look Into New York Knicks Training Camp
After winning an abysmal 37 games last season, and missing out on the playoffs, Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks have been a busy team this off-season. The Knicks' training camp started Tuesday morning, and once again another person is telling us how the culture is about to change from being a basketball laughingstock to a contender for the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.
With the season just under a month away, lets dive into this Knicks team that looks to get back to the 2012 team that went (52-28) rather than that awful "team" that stunk up Madison Square Garden last season.
The New York Knicks' "new culture" will stem from first-year head coach Derek Fisher. I
believe Derek Fisher was the better choice as a head coach than Steve Kerr-and in the end will be Phil Jackson's best move under his freshman year as President of Basketball Operations. Fisher is a leader of men, and in today's young NBA that makes more of a difference than the game plan. There is no doubt he will go through the struggles of a first year head coach but, having the comfort and mentoring of Phil Jackson is a rare stepping stone that most coaches are not afforded.
Let’s check out the talent that the Knicks will be working with using Phil Jackson’s famous triangle offense.
It all begins with the star, Carmelo Anthony. Anthony decided to come back to the Knicks after making his rounds during NBA free agency. Anthony spurned the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and the Los Angeles Lakers before making his decision to stay in the Big Apple. I've been on record saying this was Carmelo’s worst career decision during his basketball career but, on the contrary $124 million is hard to turn down.
“From a basketball standpoint, maybe it wouldn't have been maybe the greatest thing to do,” Anthony said of picking the Knicks over the Bulls, among others. “But for me, personally, I wouldn't have felt right with myself knowing that I wanted to come here, I kind of forced my way to New York. And I have some unfinished business to take care of. That's right there really shows you it wasn't all about just running and jumping ship and trying to get something in the immediate future,” Anthony said. “I’m willing to be patient. Now, how long [am] I willing to be patient? I can’t tell you that. But ... I’m willing to take risks. I’m willing to take that chance.”
The Knicks didn't make a huge splash in free agency, but they went out and grabbed the pieces they needed. Key additions to this roster start with the veteran Spanish guard Jose Calderone. Calderone may not be a top 10 point guard in the NBA, but the guy can ball and most important is consistent for 82 games. Calderon finished fifth in the NBA with a .584 effective field-goal percentage and seventh among all players with a 120.1 offensive rating.
Coming with Calderone to the Big Apple is Samuel Dalembert who is nowhere near the force he was years ago but with his athleticism and defense, Tyson Chandler's defensive absence will be minimal.
Other Additions: Rookie F Cleanthony Early, C Jason Smith, PG Shane Larkin, and Quincy Acy
Biggest Training Camp Battle: Who wins the starting shooting guard position? Iman Shumpert is the safest bet to start opening night. His overall defensive presence and athleticism gives him the slight edge over J.R. Smith, and Tim Hardaway Jr. This may be a do or die for Shumpert's Knicks career, as he looks to negotiate an extension after this season. Shumpert remains in good spirits heading into camp.
"I know this year in the offense I will have a lot more opportunities to cut and get to the basket. I just want to work on the strength of my leg. Been working on that and being able to pull up off one or two dribbles and working on corner three-pointers and open threes." - Iman Shumpert
I don't know how they do it but the Knicks once again come into a season with high hopes and expectations. It doesn't matter if they are the 2012 team that battled the Miami Heat in the playoffs and a few shots short of the Eastern Conference finals or are a gun arrest, shoe tying joke that was last season, the New York Knicks will be relevant in the NBA community.