Good morning, and good afternoon to the Knicks and those few of us in London for the game! The Knicks' third full day in London shall mark the climax of the Knicks' trip to London (barring a Speed-like double-decker bus situation involving Jim Todd as the wacky old terrorist, Pablo Prigioni as the hero, and Tina Cervasio as "wildcat" on Friday).
New York plays Detroit at 8 PM London time, which is 3 PM real time. The game will air on MSG and NBA TV, and we'll have our first mid-weekday game thread in quite some time. New York could really use a win if they wish to keep their hold on the Atlantic Division-- after Brooklyn and Boston lost last night, they could gain some ground-- but I hope you'll forgive me for being more worked up about a single participant than the game as a whole. Yes, Iman Shumpert is set to make his season debut against the Pistons. Joe will post later this morning about how much Shump-- even as a player whose rookie season was injury-riddled and deeply flawed-- means to us. Spoiler: He means a lot. He's young and ebullient and homegrown on a team of groggy mercenaries, and I couldn't be more excited to see him back out there. I expect rust and a slow progression toward maximum Shumpitude, but I'm still tooting with excitement over here.
As far as Shump's minutes go: It sounds like Mike Woodson intends to start Shumpert today, then play him for around 15 minutes over three or four short stints. This doesn't mean Shump's already been designated a starter going forward (though he might be, and perhaps should be if he's ready); it's just a way to avoid tightening between warm-up and check-in. Recall that Shumpert had issues with leg cramps last year, so that's a legitimate concern even without the surgically repaired knee.
In other news, Tyson Chandler was at shootaround today after missing yesterday's practice with some fluishness. He's expected to play tonight. No high fives, guys. Oh, and Rasheed Wallace says he will play...this season! Woo!
Some more Knicks in London material to feed your tummy:
- The Knicks did some soccer-- sorry, "footgame"-- things yesterday. Jason Kidd and Allan Houston attended a Spurs training session, then a bunch of the guys went to the Chelsea-Southampton match (thanks to dimitrious for that one). Check out Ronnie Brewer lookin' sassy with his new Chelsea jersey. I guess he's going over there on loan?
- Did you know Mike Woodson used to work in the promotions department of the Manchester Giants? Did you know there's a team called the Manchester Giants? I'm more of a Brixton TopCats fan myself.
- The Knicks took their team photo (presumably not via Instagram, though that's how we're seeing it) in front of the Tower Bridge It was cold.
- Chris Copeland thinks a "wanker" is a "fake gangster". Kurt Thomas thinks it's a "little animal". This is IMPORTANT. The fact that Jonah Ballow even asked them about that term leads me to believe nobody there knows what it really means.
That's where things stand in London. Tip-off in under six hours!
Update/reminder: P&Ters in London, there's a meet-up tonight for you.