First things first. I got a few interviews yesterday that I intended to put online this morning. Unfortunately, some communication between the microphone and camera was shot, so instead of witty banter, all you could hear was a continuous, ear-melting squeal. I'm gonna hold on to the tape and see what I can do with it later, but in the mean time, my apologies. As far as other video goes, I got a couple halfway decent interviews today, and have more planned. I didn't originally want to film scrimmages, but I'm getting the sense that there's plenty of demand for those, so I'll do what I can.
Meanwhile, the second morning practice finished up a couple hours ago, and there were once again some obvious discrepancies from last year's drills. We got to see plenty of conditioning stuff- full-court drills, running, and a circuit of weight work, but there was another task that had Mike D'Antoni most occupied. It's a defensive drill: five offensive players stand around the perimeter, swinging the ball rapidly from man to man. Five players on defense must shift and communicate while reacting to the ball movement. Eventually, the offense starts cutting and and making craftier passes, and the D has to keep up. I think I mentioned this on the Twitter, but Mike D'Antoni got seriously animated about this one. It was hard to tell exactly what he said, but there were multiple occasions when he actually cut the drill short to direct traffic and chastise certain guys. It was intense, and it was defense. Hahn's got the word on that here.
A couple player notes:
- Danilo Gallinari shouldn't be chest-bumping or ass-bumping anybody, if you ask me. Gotta protect that back. Stick with the classic high five.
- Darko Milicic is, as many have said before, a very strong lefty. He prefers to finish left on either side of the rim, and isn't the most ambidextrous of dribblers.
- Eddy Curry wasn't present today because of that strained calf.
- Jordan Hill, for all his youthful pitfalls, runs the floor like a pro. He's fast for a big guy, and appears to be pretty well-conditioned. These full-court drills look absolutely exhausting, but Jordan was able to keep up at full speed. He also looked much more adept at stopping on a dime and hitting the short jumper today.
- Al Harrington and Jared Jeffries made a point of screaming "AHHH!! AHHH!!" and "IT HURTS!!!" while doing the strength drills on balance balls.
Couple things I forgot to mention from yesterday: The players have personalized smoothies with their names on them, each calibrated to fit their nutritional needs and flavor preferences. In the lost interviews, Warren Carter told me his was peanut butter flavored, and Darko Milicic said his was made of "English fruit", whatever that is. Sun Yue's, incidentally, was labeled "#32, CUTTINO MOBLEY". He didn't seem to mind. (Insert "I drink your milshake!" joke here.)
- Also last night, I overheard Eddy Curry and Chris Duhon discussing how strenuous Mike D'Antoni's full-court drills were. Both agreed that it was harder than anything Scott Skiles had ever made them do.
I've got a few classes to go to, then it's off to scrimmages this evening. I'll have more notes, and hopefully some action-packed video up by tomorrow morning. I think I'm gonna save all the interviews for last, so sit tight and satiate your Knick craving with the scrimmage vids for now. Keep commenting and emailing, and watch the Twitter for live updates starting at around 10 a.m. each morning and 6 p.m. each evening.