Quantcast New York Knicks 2008 Preseason Recap

 

New York Knicks 2008-09 preseason recap

 

The circus that is the New York Knicks will be back in town starting on Wednesday, when the team hosts the Miami Heat in the 2008-2009 opener. It was an interesting preseason around the team, which included the implementing of a new system, injuries, shattered egos, and some more Isiah Thomas drama. Mike D’Antoni is aboard as the teams new head coach, and Donnie Walsh will be running the player personnel department. Both have had individual success at all of their former stops, and now come together to try to get the franchise back to the elite level that fan’s became accustomed to for years. As the Knicks get ready to take on the Heat in their season opener, lets take a look at how the team is shaping up to look coming out of training camp.

Coach Mike D’Antoni is known for his up tempo style of coaching, that requires fast breaks, and quick shots in the half court. He had incredible success using this system with the Phoenix Suns, and oversaw the developed of Steve Nash into an MVP type player. On paper, this Knicks team is not built for speed, but D’Antoni is trying to piece together a plan of attack that will fit his beliefs along with his new player’s strengths. Free agent point guard Chris Duhon was the Knicks big off-season acquisition, and will take over the starting point guard job from former superstar, Stephon Marbury. Mike D’Antoni loves Duhon’s style of a game managing point guard, wants to rid the team of egos, and likes the idea of a pass first point guard. Although Duhon struggled in the preseason at times, Coach D’Antoni believes his winning pedigree from his days at Duke will help him lead this team out of the cellar. How well Duhon becomes a floor general and leader for this team will determine how successful the new offense can be.

The next key factor for the Knicks season will be how the players from last year’s team adapt to new roles. Stephon Marbury and Eddie Curry have both expressed frustration with how have been used in the preseason, and have been reluctant to adapt. Marbury is in the final year of his contract, and is clearly motivated to receive a new contract at the end of this season. He has lost his job as a starter for the first time in his life, and will have to adapt to being the 6 th man. He still has enormous talent, and with the way Mike D’Antoni uses three guard lineups, he can be very productive if his heart is in the game. On the other hand, Eddie Curry’s role seems to be diminishing by the minute. Coach D’Antoni did not feel he grasped the offense, or was in good enough shape to prove anything to him in the pre-season, averaging 4.3 points per game. He will not be part of the eight or nine man rotation tomorrow night, and will have to work his way back into playing time through practices. After being labeled the best center in the game by Isiah Thomas just two years ago, tough times have fallen on the Knicks big man.

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The future of the Knicks will be determined by how well the young players that Isiah Thomas drafted develop in this new system, and with a new coach’s guidance. Nate Robinson led the team in scoring this pre-season, and is drawing comparisons to Leandro Barbosa from Phoenix. Wilson Chandler is a freak athlete who Mike D’Antoni believes can develop in the mold of a Shawn Marion. David Lee is the Knicks most energetic player, and a fan favorite. He can be an unrestricted free agent after the season, and might be one of the most sought after players in the entire NBA.

Will the Knicks compete for a NBA Title this season? No way. Will they be in the playoff race? Maybe. Will they be entertaining? Certainly. Are they headed in the right direction? We can start answering that question on Oct. 29th vs. Miami.

 

By Joseph Giglio
Pro Basketball Fans New York Knicks Correspondent


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