By all accounts, the Knicks’ first day of training camp was fairly successful, especially since Timofey Mozgov looked good though “raw” and Curry made it through his first two practices without injury for the first time in two seasons. Still, Knicks management appeared to be on edge about the possibility of Carmelo Anthony becoming a New Jersey Net by Monday. Anthony ending up in Newark this season would be disastrous for the Knicks (even moreso if they fail to improve on the court) who lost the free agency battle to the Miami Heat this past summer. Although the Knicks finally focused on building a team and while the additions of Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton are considered upgrades from the past two seasons, it is widely understood that Amar’e’s star presence alone will not make the Knicks a championship, or even a playoff, contender. The Knicks had depended on attracting Anthony as a free agent in 2011. And even with Felton as the new co-captain for now, it is clear that he is a temporary fix as the Knicks eye both Tony Parker and Chris Paul.
The NBA rumor mill is notoriously unreliable, but the Knicks may still avert the Melo to Nets pain, at least temporarily. It is unclear whether Anthony will actually approve the trade to the Nets who are supposed to end up in Brooklyn in a couple of years. However, if Carmelo is not dealt before training camp, the Nuggets will certainly try to move him before the trading deadline or Denver could be more dysfunctional than the Golden State Warriors now that Nellie is retiring. Anthony’s presence will certainly wear on the Nuggets similarly to how Bosh’s presence killed the Raptors last season. Anthony’s extra time in Denver, however, may favor a renewed effort by the Knicks to get the assets needed to trade for him, but it will also almost certainly reintroduce the “rent-a-player” atmosphere fostered by Knicks management in the recent past.
Fortunately though, training camp did not start out this year with players and fans under the impression that it was the beginning of season-long tryouts. This year the captains, Stoudemire and Felton are under contract beyond this season and the coaching staff is saying all the right things about loving the ones they’re with.
For in-person camp reports, you can read accounts at Posting and Toasting Knicks Morning Practice Notes- 9/25/10 and Knicks Evening Practice Notes- 9/25/10 . According to these gents, Amar’e, Andy Rautins and Landry Fields looked good while Eddy Curry, Rony Turiaf and Bill Walker struggled. Marc Berman of the Post had a similar opinion of Curry’s first practices: “Though Russian rookie Timofey Mozgov, a 7-foor-1 center, looked sharp and fit, Eddy Curry labored during conditioning drills in the morning, and during the final running drill last night was lapped several times by teammates. Curry looked like to running in slow motion.” The New York Time’s best observation about the practices concerned Studdy who Howard Beck described as “the one finishing every drill with a snappy dunk and the one who left the court last, after 15 minutes of shooting shirtless.” The Knicksblog observed Mozgov as being very mobile and complimented the early chemistry between Felton and Stoudemire.
Readers can also get a view of the evening session via TheKnicksBlog which has posted some home-made videos of Night Practice. One of the videos is posted below: