Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
The Knicks held their final practice today before Friday's de facto season opener against the Heat.
Good day, Marvins. You're all still named Marvin, right? Good. I would be really uncomfortable if you weren't. Knicks practice today was essentially their last chance to prepare for Friday's game against the Heat, since the difficulty of travel tomorrow will prevent them from holding a proper shootaround in Westchester. As such, Mike Woodson got to work installing some Heat-stopping (chilling, if you will. You won't? Fine.) defensive schemes. Those schemes were SUPER TOP SECRET:
Knicks are asking photographers to not take photos at this moment in practice. Team appears to be working on something for Heat.
Woodson devising defewnsive scheme and rotation to stop LeBron offense. Asked pr chief to have camera turned off.
Woodson is explaining how to contain/seal off potential isolation plays by Wade and LeBron.
One more from Chris Herring:
Woodson also explaining how, within their defense, to make sure MIA's corner shooter (let's just call him Ray Allen) is accounted for.
Please, please tell me that at least one of those photographers had the gall to snap some photos anyway. I want to know what this secret defense is, and I expect to see some blurry shots of Kurt Thomas wielding a scythe or Tyson Chandler cracking open a wasp's nest on the internet in the near future. Don't fail me, intrepid photographers.
While Kurt Thomas undoubtedly owns the team's best scythe skills, it doesn't look like he'll start Friday night. Woodson put a blue jersey on Jason Kidd and played Carmelo Anthony at the four during practice today, and we should expect that lineup with Melo and Ronnie Brewer each shifting up a position to start against Miami's unit featuring LeBron James and Shane Battier as the forwards. How Woodson and Erik Spoelstra choose to match/cross-match Brewer/Melo and Battier/The Bron remains to be seen.
When the Knicks go to more traditional lineups, expect Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace(!) to get minutes at the four, and don't be surprised if Marcus Camby strolls off the bench as well (Do be surprised if he plays a lot).
Tomorrow, y'all. I am very excited and very scared.