Hey pigbabies! The Knicks are back in Greenburgh practicing for a few days before they head to Baltimore for a preseason game against the Wizards on Thursday. I have links for you, both from today's practice and from the regular ol' internet. You may look at them.
- This Purple-Top Dottyback goes out to mooch31, whose pet Purple-Top Dottyback passed away some days ago. RIP, [fish name here].
Okay, practice things first. Just a few bits:
- Monday scrimmage highlights! Today's blue team was Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, and Tyson Chandler, which-- right now-- I bet is the starting lineup for the season opener. Some nice Ike Diogu highlights with that unit, too.
- Chris Herring prodded Mike Woodson a bit about Bargnani's bad habit of drifting just inside the arc, and Woodson responded that he'd like him to avoid doing that. Cool! (This isn't a conversation about driving, incidentally. It's about spreading the floor and taking jumpers from a step outside the arc vs. a step inside it. The former is better.)
- Woodson says he wants to double less this season and attributed last season's double-heavy schemes to injury. I'm not sure that checks out historically, but I'm happy Woodson (at least says he) isn't content doubling constantly.
- Woody said some Shump things today. He wants Shump not to be so overzealous that he gets beat a lot, which I agree with very strongly. There is such a thing as over-aggressive. He wants Shump to improve at running the pick-and-roll, which makes sense if he's going to play two-guard in the sets the Knicks ran last season, but may or may not work out as well as running a second point guard off the ball in those sets worked. He said "Iman plays very hard. And really, that's what keeps him on the floor", which could be taken as a pretty empty response to a conversation about young guys playing hard, or it could be taken as a slight of some sort in that it neglects Shump's more refined virtues. Your call! Shump says he's cool either way.
- Zach Lowe wrote a big, big thing about the Knicks now and later: Now, Lowe wonders whether their defensive can improve enough for them to contend. Later, Lowe wonders if the Knicks are going to end up dissatisfied with their next big free agency summer (2015, perhaps).
- A small thing in there: Does Woodson really prefer raw points stats to possession-based stats? I swear I've heard him talk about efficiency, and he set reaching the top-ten in defense as a goal this season, which would mean he sees the Knicks as outside the top ten last year. I dunno. That whole article will curdle your innards a bit if you haven't long since accepted curdled innards as a comfortable baseline.
- Buried in this piece about Melo helping Chandler with his jump shot is the news that Beno Udrih didn't miss the last exhibition game for no reason. He's working through an elbow strain.
- Excellent work by Kevin McElroy on the complexity of the Andrea Bargnani debates. I think the variety of perspectives described therein is why those arguments never seemed to end well.
- Ghostface Ziller on the term "pure scorer" and some pure scorers, one of whom is on the Knicks (Cole Aldrich).
- Very cool thing about the Madison Square Garden carpenter.
Those are the links! RIP, fish. Weird Joe stuff coming later.