The Knicks practiced on Saturday -- balls were shot, triangles were formed.
Let's start with the hold-outs:
#Knicks say Amare (recovery day) did not practice. Bargnani (hamstring) and Travis Outlaw also did not practice.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 18, 2014
Travis Outlaw apparently has a mild Achilles strain, but I like the fact that it isn't mentioned in this tweet: the reader can just assume that he didn't practice due to the condition known as "being Travis Outlaw."
As far as the regular season, I think we can safely assume that this will be the Knicks' starting five on opening night:
#Knicks Derek Fisher spending alot of time teaching the triangle to Early, Galloway, Wear, Mbenga & Sanchez on a side court after practice.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 18, 2014
On second thought: we might be gettin' a little too real for y'all. Let's change the subject.
Who will start at power forward on Monday? Marc Berman has his suspicions:
With Bargnani not practicing again today, can't imagine Derek starting him Monday at PF - if suits up at all. But Fisher did hint Ja. Smith.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) October 18, 2014
Of course, "Ja. Smith" is in reference to Jah Smith, an intriguing Rastafarian prospect from Jamaica.
Or perhaps he mean Jason Smith, who has apparently caught the eye of New York's coaching staff:
Derek Fisher said Cole Aldrich's recent DNPs shouldn't be viewed as a demotion. Fisher said he just wanted to get a look at Jason Smith.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 18, 2014
Derek Fisher on Jason Smith: "There's no reason why he maybe couldn't crack into the (starting 5)." More here: http://t.co/olU7Oa6flM— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 18, 2014
While Jason Smith intrigues me as well, that's no excuse to leave Cole hanging out to dry. There should be minutes for both of them.
One player who likely won't have to worry about minutes (as long as he doesn't go and get himself suspended again) is J.R. Smith, who is recovering from his recent back troubles:
#Knicks G J.R. Smith says his back is feeling better. He's continuing to get treatment on it.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 17, 2014
As for the famous Dennis Rodman comparisons, Earl isn't exactly ready to dismiss them:
#Knicks' J.R. Smith said he appreciated Rodman's comparison. "We work hard on the court and we play hard off the court, so (I'll) take it."— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 17, 2014
I'm not sure Rodman considers his important diplomatic work -- single-handedly broaching the divide between the West and the People's Democratic Republic of Korea -- as "playing hard." Was John Quincy Adams playing hard when he crafted the Monroe Doctrine?
Coach Fish has been quite impressed with Earl's studiousness:
#Knicks' Derek Fisher was very complimentary of J.R. Smith, saying he's asking the right questions about the triangle & grasping it well.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 17, 2014
Indeed, I can confirm that J.R. pulled Fisher aside after practice and asked him, "Hey coach, you know that part in The Wizard of Oz when the scarecrow says, 'The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side?' That's some bullshit, right? He was talking about right triangles."
Finally, we end with Carmelo Anthony, who is totally done with scoring points!!!
Melo: "I think shots will be fewer, I think it will be more effective shots...But I really don't know" because NYK has only played preseason— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 18, 2014
Derek Fisher plans to be judicious in his use of Melo this season. Says having a scorer like Melo is a "luxury" and "you can't abuse it."— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 18, 2014
Sooo....yeah, Melo's still gonna score. A lot. He's quite good at it, after all. My hope here is that when Fisher says he can't abuse Melo's scoring ability, he means he can't simply hand Melo the ball in the fourth quarter with no semblance of a plan. We all saw how that worked out in close games last season.
The notion that a player can't win a scoring title in the Triangle is just plain silly:
RT @seanonlyskin Just checked: in the past 24 years, Phil Jackson has coached 9 years where his top scorer won the scoring title in the Tri— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 18, 2014
By all means, Melo, if you want to win another scoring championships while posting shooting percentages similar to your previous two seasons, then be my guest.