You already know what it is! This is Emcee Charlie on the ones and twos!
Today was absolutely insane. You already heard about morning practice, now you get the rest of the story. The following is the harrowing tale of Seth and my day in Tarrytown/Hawthorne/White Plains/The Knicks facility for the evening practice.
Seth and I didn't eat anything for breakfast because he was too busy spilling medicine and I was too busy watching him bend over to pick up the medicine. So, following the morning practice, we decided to go out and grab some grub. Since neither of us knew the area very well, we consulted Tommy Dee over at The Knicks Blog, who dropped this scrap of knowledge on us:
You want some decent food around here? You gotta go to White Plains; Mamaroneck Avenue.
So we decided to head out to White Plains until Seth's Subaru decided not to start for a whole hell of a lot longer than we wished it would. Luckily, Seth remained cool as a cucumber in a cucumber freezer (Now that's cool!) and called AAA. Unluckily, the facility is in the middle of nowhere, which is hard to explain to a tow truck driver, so it took almost two hours.
After the two truck driver arrived and quenched the car's thirst for attention, we set off to Mamaroneck Avenue for some food, arriving about 15 minutes later. We ate at a place called Nicky's, which is, according to Tommy Dee:
Best slice in White Plains!
Sadly, we never found out because Seth order the chicken cutlet sandwich, while I opted for a meatball parm hero. Also, yes, the rumors are true: we split an order of mozzarella sticks. Afterward, because we still had an hour left for parking, we headed into the local movie & music store to browse. Finally, we climbed into Seth's car again and headed back to the facility.
Although the media portion of practice only lasted about 45 minutes, it was almost entirely scrimmaging. Some notes:
This happened in and around Mozgov's face. Stoudemire, who flushed that ball on Mozgov, felt the effects a little later when Timofey decided to flush one around Amare's face for good measure.
Speaking of which, Timofey Mozgov had a few animalistic dunks and played generally well. The most surprising thing I saw was his passing. He got the ball in the high post at one point and held it for about two seconds before zipping a one-handed two-seamer to Walker, who was cutting baseline. Although Walker missed the lay-up, there was an audible reaction from the media contingent (read: Seth and me). He finished me off with a nice scoop pass underneath the basketball a few possessions later (again to Walker).
Roger Mason Jr. got his jumper on this evening. Not much else to say besides: "Nice!"
Although I already mentioned it, Amar'e is ornery. Several times he got the ball at the top of the key and drove it himself, once even successfully crossing over like a small forward. He and Timofey also seem to be focusing on drawing contact, which was a great success.
Ronny Turiaf and Raymond Felton both looked a little sluggish. The Knicks seemed to be trapping a lot and Rautins looked a little more impressive on the trap than Raymond. Turiaf didn't seem too vocal, which, if you've been around him at all, was surreal. I expect everyone was a little tired from the beating they took earlier via D'Conditioning.
Danilo Gallinari had a series during which he spank-blocked Landry Fields from the side/back, got the ball again on the fast break and finished quite nicely off the glass. Since they sometimes stop play to switch out teams, it wasn't quite clear whether it was an and-1 or not. What was clear, however, was Gallo's intensity, which manifested itself in the form of a Primo Scream-o!
Landry Fields continues to perform. I can't tell you he'll definitely get minutes or if he'll start or if he's an MVP candidate or anything else, but I will say (Reminder: It's only been one day) that he does not look a single step behind his wing counterparts.
Wilson Chandler was quiet, but not too quiet.
Andy Rautins didn't do much offensively except hand the ball off to Eddy Curry (!) a whole bunch, but his defense was pesky to say the least. He looked great trapping and stayed in front of his man capably. I wouldn't take this as any sort of revelation, but it's something.
Eddy Curry did not look great.
"He looked tired and out of sorts. Hurried. Pushed around by players half his size. Didn't assert himself. Didn't commit to anything. Are you writing all these things?" - Seth, who later added "no passion whatsoever."
Also notable, Eddy Curry has been wearing his red pinny around his neck rather than his body.
Anthony Randolph looked like a gazelle running the floor, but he pulled up for jumpers too often for my liking. He looked like he was fading a little bit on the jumper, but it was definitely falling in both the half-court and in transition. On one or two occasions we saw him bring up the ball as well. While he didn't look like Chris Paul, he seemed certainly capable.
Toney Douglas got caught in the trap a few times, but he threw a really cool-looking pass to Mozgov for a dunk, so I let him have dessert.
After the scrimmaging, the Knicks did a drill that featured defensive slides and back-pedaling. The two stand-outs were Fields and Stoudemire.
After the practice, the real story began. For the second time today, Amar'e Stoudemire stayed after and put up approximately 200 or 250 shots from both in and outside the arc. Also, I am happy to report, the bank is open. Also, he was shirtless for the second time today.
Also staying after were Patrick Ewing Jr., Landry Fields and Shawne Williams. During the games, Williams and Ewing Jr. weren't remarkable other than one play during which Williams brought the ball coast to coast for a generic pull-up jumper, which he sank. After practice, the two of them and Fields worked on their jumpers with an assistant while Ewing Jr. became the only Knick other than Stoudemire to de-shirt.
Back to the Adventure
Seth and I went over to a different straggler, however; Timofey Mozgov. He stayed after with assistant coach Herb Williams and Donnie Walsh Old Dog/Two-time ABA MVP Mel Daniels to work on his post moves and bank shots. The story was not his shot percentage or a newly learned move, but his overall disposition and attitude. He treated every post-up and shot as though it was a buzzer-beater. He did not shy from contact and continuously bodied coach Williams. He treated every word the coach said as though it were directions for heart surgery. If he could have, I'm sure he would have taken written notes. It was truly inspiring to watch a young man like Mozgov put in so much extra effort.
Bobby Flay did not suit up.
After the game, Seth drove back to his house while we talked shit about people and sang most songs from Ghostface Killah's "More Fish" album out loud. I'm not kidding when I tell you that he circled his block to provide more bonding time.
That seems to recount our night and most of what the Knicks did. We're going back tomorrow and should have something up in the afternoon (it's a possibility it will take until the night, so don't hold me to it).
To New Beginnings!