The Knicks got into some 5-on-5 scrimmages today. Some cool things went down, and some cruddy stuff happened. Let's take a look at some tweets and things to see if we can't glean some info to help us shape the scene.
First of all, this is the beginning of my worst nightmare.
Kristaps Porzingis said he tweaked his knee running by himself in a five-on-zero drill. He expects to practice tomorrow.— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) October 1, 2015
It's the non-contact stuff that is always the worst. It's freaky to see and disturbing to hear. Kristaps is expected to practice in full tomorrow, so thankfully we don't need to put much stock into this just yet. Seems like the team doesn't need to push him. Especially with the training camp roster so fluffy. Let's see if DaJuan Summers can play some stretch four, right?
Sasha "don't-ask-me-about-Maria" Vujacic tearing it up in scrimmage - couple of treys, a pullup and nice bounce pass for Lou layup.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) October 1, 2015
I just realized that Marc "why-you-always-prying" Berman's Twitter account isn't verified. Poetically, that checks out. Anyway, Berman neglects to mention the context of The Machine's output.
Carmelo Anthony fed Sasha Vujavic in transition and Vujacic pulled up from behind the arc & knocked down a 3. Has hit his last 3 shots.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 1, 2015
So we have some signs of early offense from the guy that was brought in to help everyone learn the Triangle. We also have the guy with the stickiest hands either advancing the ball or moving it quickly to the open man and/or hot hand. That's exciting to hear! If Sasha can get hot in quick spurts the way Tim Hardaway Jr did two years ago, there's no reason to be mad at the guy. Even if he doesn't want to talk about old flames.
Sasha Vujacic on fire at Knicks practice.— Scott Cacciola (@ScottCacciola) October 1, 2015
If Vujacic works out, it would be a great sign for the team's guard depth in general. He's only 30 years old, so there's no reason to think he's over the hill. Sasha was never a complete player though, so you have to wonder how much of a positive he can be when he isn't scoring well.
Vujacic has three jumpers and an assist in his team's last four possessions. But has struggled to contain Grant on D.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) October 1, 2015
You see what I mean? Let's not rain on the parade, though. If Jerian Grant can contribute sooner rather than later, this also bodes well for the depth chart. Any amount of speed on the perimeter would prove to be a huge plus. The Knicks have had practically none since Chris Childs was on the team.
#Knicks rookie Jerian Grant had a nice finish at the rim. Penetrated the defense off of a high screen, something not seen often last yr.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 1, 2015
If he has the burst to finish plays and draw contact at the cup, all the better. Jose Calderon is certain to be better this year than last, but those wheels will be even further on their descent. It's worrisome to consider him matching up with mid-tier point guards around the league much less the top flight types. He may be able to outsmart them on the occasional game, but who is he really challenging physically on one end or the other?
Just saw a little of the angry Robin Lopez. He scowled at and said something to official who called a loose-ball foul on him.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) October 1, 2015
Thankfully we may have some interior presence shaking things up and adding a measured bit of lunacy to the frey. Lopez isn't an all-world defender but he will cover up some of the blow-by's we've grown accustomed to. With any luck that will embolden the guards to assert themselves some more. The simple notion that someone will rotate and not just stand there (Amar'e, Andrea) should be massively helpful.
Kevin Seraphin elbowed Kyle O'Quinn and then decked Thanasis on a pick. Hello training camp.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) October 1, 2015
Yea man, even if you can't really block and alter lots of shots, there's pretty much always a way to embolden a disengaged perimeter defender on your team. If your big guys are putting in the work, it's easier for the guards to attack on defense, and for the vocal leaders of the team to shout about it.
#Knicks are playing some 5 on 5 now. Kevin Seraphin knocked down a jumper playing on weak side of triangle.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 1, 2015
Of course, if your big guys are covering up for you, you gotta get them the ball. Would be nice if Seraphin turned out to be the steal of free agency and hit us with a 50-40-90 season. I'll take the under, though. So let's take a look at some action!
What do we have here? Thanasis Antetokounmpo (I'm pretty sure) feeds Carmelo Anthony in the post and cuts over the top of him to the opposite corner and floats around very aimlessly. Anthony commands a poorly considered double team and hits the open Langston Galloway at the top of the key for three points.
Need another look?
So, right. Same thing. If only there were four or five more of these-- we might be able to convice Steve Popper to give us a cute dog video. I'm sure someone is going to be able to encapsulate the entire season based on those videos, but that's what the comments section is for.
So what the hell happened with Kristaps?
Fisher said porzingis tweaked IT band last night and did participate in some of today's workout.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) October 1, 2015
IT band? Isiah Thomas has a band? Wait- do you mean Robert Randolph and the Family Band? Robert Randolph, you did this to The Flamingo! When will this madness end!? Hopefully the Knicks send Kristaps to the premiere amputation doctor in the country.