That's right, we back in high society.
That is somewhat like what I imagine the Knicks' players' bus will be like during the coming season. Toney D sitting in the back middle seat, leading the rest of the dudes in a rhythmic jam session while Turiaf lays down a catchy bass line and Mozgov keeps it real on the bongos. As Satch puts it at the end of the clip, "End of song, beginning of story." I couldn't feel anymore confident that this is a great phrase to sum up the Knicks' coming season. More after the jump!
First of all, we'll outline the most likely 12-man roster the Knicks will have entering the season:
PG: Felton / TD
SG: Walker / Rautins / Azubuike
SF: Gallo / Chandler
PF: Amare / Randolph
C: Turiaf / Jordan / Curry
Wildcards: Timofey Mozgov, Landry Fields, Marcus Landry
Not bad, not bad at all. I have to think this is the season the Knicks make the jump from:
Seriously that is one of the most ridiculously amazing things I've ever seen...but it's all about coordination and working as a group! Which I think we can expect of the Knicks this coming season.
Let's put a hold on the ludicrous clips for a second and talk about the specific players and what we can expect of them this coming season, starting with the returning players:
Toney Douglas: We saw WTDD in the first Summer League game, finishing with 27 points. I actually think he is being groomed to be the sixth man a la Barbosa, and so while I hope to see him improve his passing skills this summer, I'm also hoping that he doesn't lose that scorer's mentality first and foremost.
Danilo Gallinari: What can you say about this young dude that hasn't already been said? His improvement over the next year will dictate a lot for the success of the Knicks. But ultimately, it's nice to imagine him in a frontcourt with Randolph and Stoudemire, two bigs who attack the basket and can set him up for open looks.
Bill Walker: Bully's been training Marbury-style with Alan Hahn in the Hollywood Hills, from the looks of it. His shots and decision making have been a little rusty in the SL so far, but I don't think it's anything to worry about. The athleticism is still there (probably moreso), and he's a guy that will benefit directly from having a no. 1 scorer like Amare to play off of.
Wilson Chandler: It's Seth's profile pic, everyone! Wilson, Wilson, Wilson. A bit of an enigma, still, though he's the longest tenured Knick other than Curry and that squinty-eyed assistant coach. More than anyone, I want to see improvement from Wil in terms of his aggressiveness and consistency. We all know what he can do, but it needs to be on display every night and every play. I'd also like to see him take even more of a defensive role in the coming year.
Eddy Curry: It hasn't been mentioned much since Kobayashi stormed the stage at the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, but shortly afterwards Curry ATE the stage. I honestly hope the Knicks don't trade him unless it is a home-run deal; I'd rather see that contract come off the books next summer. Plus, he's got so much outside of basketball to motivate him at this point! Contract expiring, debt...could this be the year that he selfishly puts it all together? Probably not. But whatever, he's the last man on the roster most likely.
Amare Stoudemire: That's a heavy image, right there. First of all, Amare is going to be better without Steve Nash than pundits think. As has been pointed out before, his numbers w/ the Suns in games w/ Nash are almost identical to those without. Dude knows how to take it to the rack and make Bosh look like the ninny she is. We haven't had a big man who can score so easily in a long, long time.
Raymond Felton: I'm a guy who loves UNC ball players, and we know DW is too. Walsh tried to trade for him last season when he was still an expiring, but Demon Coach said no, claiming, "I can't replace his heart." Whether that meant as a competitor or because Demon Coach wanted to eat it later that evening, I'm a little unsure. But RayFel pushed the ball like crazy in college and projected almost as well as Chris Paul at that point. Now that he's back doing what he does best, I think we legitimately got a two year steal.
Anthony Randolph: Randolph is the kind of player that will literally make you geek out when you watch his highlight tapes. I've seen so many clips of him making the block on one end, getting the ball and taking it coast to coast for a dunk / crazy layup, it's absurd. He's hardly played at all! He's also, by the looks of it, significantly stronger (and a couple inches taller, allegedly) than when he was drafted. All of these comparisons to Lamar Odom seem a little unfair to, if either, Randolph; I even saw a statement from Lamar Odom somewhere that said he thinks AntRand is ahead of where he was at his age. I can state, without question, that he is the Knick I am most excited to see develop over the coming season.
Ronny Turiaf: He's my favorite Knick, as I wrote in an early post. Not because of his ability (which is, if anything, a little under rated) but because of what he brings to the Knick locker room. Every teammate he's ever had, from Kobe to Steph Curry, has loved this guy. I even would go so far as to say that his presence will in particular help ease the transition from Cali to NYC for Randolph. And even if he only plays 15 minutes a night, you know they're going to be must-see ones.
Kelenna Azubuike: Seems like a really intelligent, easy-going dude who will also add to the Knicks both on and off the court. Most people immediately mention his defense and three-point shooting, but he can also get out there on the break with the best of them. Obviously he is the main injury concern on our roster, but he's also an expiring contract, so that works out well.
Andy Rautins: Lady-killer! Kind of a reptilian-looking dude, but in a good way for a basketball player, not like Bosh. Having watched him in a couple SL games, I'd guess that in the regular season, if / when he actually gets in the games, he's going to do what he does best (3-pt Shooting) and a little extra as well, be that defense, passing, or something else.
Landry Fields: I just can't pin this guy down. But here's hoping that Marcus Landry can, and that they have little Landry Landry Jrs.! Seriously, more than any other player, his stock has risen in my mind based on these first two Summer League games. Still it's obviously way early and we'll have to see what he looks like against proper NBA competition, because that is still my main concern. He knows how to do everything though and seems intelligent enough to adapt to the NBA quite well. Maybe the comparison is a little bit of a stretch, but I could see him doing what Shane Battier does; I don't mean the whole defensive specialist thingy, but specifically being able to figure out his role on an NBA roster and excelling at it. We'll see.
Timofey Mozgov: Dude is huge, but he has sad eyes. Like he has seen much hardship. Hopefully Ronny can nurture him back to health, and hopefully he can learn to run the pick and roll in D'Antoni's system over the next year and really contribute after that. To me, he seems like he should / would have been a mid-first round pick, so to pay what we did for him isn't that absurd. Could be a huge steal.
Jerome Jordan: Strangely, this is one of the images that comes up when you Google Image Search "Jerome Jordan," so I decided to use it. Best speaking voice on the Knicks, narrowly edging out Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. Had a couple of real nice moments against the Lakers Summer League squad, including a drive-dunk that showed he may develop into a face-up offensive threat as well as solid defender. It's nice to think that we have two young seven footers on our roster in Mozgov and Jordan, and hopefully old Squinty Eyes won't fuck with their heads and beat them at Monopoly constantly. You know he's thinking about it...Herb LOVES to be the bank, and for a reason.
Marcus Landry: He's kind of a returning player, sort of, but it remains to be seen if he'll catch on this time. I just don't think there's much room for him in the front court this year. Love his hustle and attitude, so I won't be dissapointed if I seem him on the bench opening night.
NOW FOR THE SUPER AWESOME HIGHLIGHT SECTION:
Landry Fields foils Foyle. Twice.
A relatively subdued, but possibly more informative Anthony Randolph highlight:
Everything you need to know about Raymond Felton in a single clip:
Hanging out with Ronny!
Vintage Clyde Interview w/ Chick Hearn!
Excuse Al Harrington's presence in the following clip, but since I started this post with a song we going to end it with one:
That's it. I saw an earlier post that had their projected Eastern Conference seeding for next year, and while I don't want to get into it too much, I think the Knicks could end up anywhere from 6-10 depending on how things play out. And that's a beautiful thing, folks.