Happy Opening Night Week everyone!
Seth already covered the big roster news of the day: The trade of Travis Outlaw for the ephemeral, quickly-waived spirit of Arnett Moultrie. The Knicks now have a roster spot open, and you know what that means...
WEAR-WOLVES ASSEMBLE! A-WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
The #Knicks have already waived Moultrie, who was acquired in the Outlaw deal, to make room for Travis Wear on the roster.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 27, 2014
The rookie free agent spoke to SNY's Adam Zagoria on the thrill of finding out that he had made the team:
"I was very overwhelmed because pretty much you work your whole life to get to this point. And not getting drafted, everything was up in the air and to come in and really have to earn it was very gratifying."
Head coach Derek Fisher was very complimentary of New York's newest 15th man:
"I think Travis is a young guy that has a feel for the game," Fisher said. "He understands some things about playing in the five-man unit and understanding spacing on the floor. He’s a great athlete. I’m sure some of it is natural, some of it he’s worked hard at developing, but he has a skillset that I think over time can develop to be something that can help our team."
Hopefully Wear will play big minutes alongside Thanasis Antetokounmpo in Westchester. I'm thinking of buying a beat-up van and just following that team around the country this season.
In starting lineup news, Fisher might be playing the match-up game:
Derek Fisher hints that the #Knicks lineups early in the season will change in part based on matchups.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 27, 2014
Of course, this would directly contradict a statement he made earlier in the month:
Derek Fisher says he hopes to settle on a consistent starting five rather than shifting lineups based on matchups. #Knicks— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 2, 2014
So much for that hope, eh? This might inspire an avalanche of disturbing Mike Woodson flashbacks, but the truth is that nobody in the frontcourt has really earned a lock on the two starting spots. Fisher might just be extending his auditions under the auspice of "match-ups" -- after all, it does sound quite coach-like.
Also, he cannot deny forever that little voice whispering in his ear: "Start Cole. Start Cole..."
Point guard Jose Calderon will be starting when healthy. Sadly, that might not include Wednesday's season-opener:
Fisher says Calderon is trending toward playing Wednesday but tomorrow's practice will ultimately determine his status.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 27, 2014
Where have all the Spanish-speaking point guards gone?
Pablo Prigioni (sore lower back) did not practice today. #Knicks say Jose Calderon participated in most of practice.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 27, 2014
"Most of practice" apparently did not include 5-on-5 drills, and with both Calderon and Prigioni riding the pine, the Knicks brought back POINT SHUMP:
We're watching some 5 on 5 here at #Knicks practice and Shumpert is playing lead guard in one drill with Calderon out.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 27, 2014
At first blush, it seems rather troubling that the Knicks are once again trying to shoe-horn Iman Shumpert into a role we all know doesn't suit him, but point Shump might become a necessity this season. Calderon and Prigioni carry age and injury questions, and J.R. Smith -- who I assumed would be able to run the offense on occasion -- looks like lost little puppy so far.
Fortunately, all that offseason talk of the Triangle de-emphasizing the point guard position has proven very accurate. All Shump would have to do in a standard Triangle set is to pass the ball to strong-side wing and then camp out in the corner.
And then we come to Amar'e Stoudemire, who is saying all the right things about his potential role on this squad:
Amar'e is comfortable w/whatever role Fisher gives him but says, "If we’re winning then so be it. If not, then we’ll figure something out."— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 27, 2014
STAT has a reason to be down for whatever -- The Big Wine bather is about to be bathing in wine endorsements!
Amar'e says he's been approached by several wine companies for endorsements. Says he's considering his options.— Scott Cacciola (@ScottCacciola) October 27, 2014
I'm excited at the prospect of Amar'e Stoudemire wine commercials. Here's hoping he provides as much entertainment as film legend Orson Welles: