Feb. 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni during the second half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Over the last five days, the Knicks have added three players to their rotation, temporarily lost two to injury, gone 2-2 in four games and, unless I missed something, not held a single practice. Whatever intermittent chemistry we've seen between Jeremy Lin, the returning Carmelo Anthony, and the rest of the friends, has been fostered entirely in games and shootarounds and team Nerf fights in the team hotel and stuff. Not in practices. Now that there's an extended break in the action-- the All-Star break, followed by a game against Cleveland on Wednesday, followed by another three days off-- coach Mike D'Antoni's of the mind to get these guys practicing. Like, a lot. From the Post:
Next week, the Knicks play just once in six days. It gives D’Antoni — finally — ample practice time to fit the new pieces together. In fact, after Cleveland, D’Antoni is considering a mini-training camp, practicing three straight days before a four-game road trip starting in Boston a week from Sunday.
That sounds like a fantastic idea, especially with Josh Harrellson, Iman Shumpert, and Bill Walker (who may be falling out of the rotation, but still) hopefully becoming available again after the break. A number of these guys have about as much experience together as teammates would at the beginning of the season, so why not act like it's the beginning of the season? Run through plays from scratch, get guys familiar with one another's tendencies on the court, do some trust falls...all that team bonding stuff.
Hopefully, this does come to pass (and doesn't go the way of Amar'e Stoudemire's lockout mini-camp), because days off are at a premium and New York won't catch a break like this one again this season. The opportunity to mesh must be seized!