Linkin' Center: Amare's Hopes, Gallo's Ceiling & An Old Foe Returns

Mar. 23, 2010 - New York - (100324) -- NEW YORK, March 24, 2010 (Xinhua) -- Danilo Gallinari of New York Knicks goes up for a shot in the NBA basketball game against Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden in New York March 23, 2010. Knicks won 109-104. (Xinhua/Shen Hong.

Does Coach Mike D'Antoni think Danilo Gallinari can get any better? See below. (Source: Yardbarker.com)

What are Amar’e Stoudemire’s expectations for the season?  Probably the same as many Knick fans.  ESPNNewYork reports:

Stoudemire said he thinks this season it is the playoffs or failure.  “Anything less than [the playoffs] would not be a success.”

[...] Not making the playoffs could cost Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni and president Donnie Walsh their jobs.

[Stoudemire also said,] “my dedication is to the city of New York. I came here when the Knicks were down and out. I think the Knicks fans feel the exact same way about me. I think they have my back.”

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The fact that Eddy Curry came to camp extremely out of shape and injured himself by the third practice was no surprise to anyone.  Neither should this follow up info from the New York Times:

The oft-injured Knicks center Eddy Curry will miss at least four weeks with a strained right hamstring, marking the third straight year he was sidelined early in training camp.

[...] Curry was not expected to travel with the team on its trip to Europe for exhibition games in Italy and Paris.

So not only is he injured and thus already on the outside looking in, but now he’s choosing to avoid the European trip where the team will bond and grow together even more.  But what choice does he have?  It’s not like they let Americans rehab strained hamstrings in Europe.

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A couple of interesting notes from Jared Zwerling over at ESPN.com:

  • When Mike D’Antoni addressed the media after practice yesterday, he offered a preview of two duos he’ll play together this season: 1) Raymond Felton and Toney Douglas (“They are two guys who are extremely quick and both of them are tenacious on defense. That’s something you’ll see during the season. I don’t know a lot, but some.”); and 2) Amare Stoudemire and Anthony Randolph (“I think [Anthony's] natural is to be a four-ish and Amare will be over at the five. They can play together. But I would have [Anthony] out there if he improves his shot.”)
  • Stoudemire’s leadership from day one of training camp has already rubbed off. Yesterday, rookie Landry Fields copied Stoudemire and spent time after practice working on his jumpshot.

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Time creates odd bed-fellows.  The NY Daily News tells us about the most incongruous person to show up at the Knicks training camp:

Reggie Miller looked out of place Sunday night sitting underneath a Knicks banner inside the Knicks’ training facility in Greenburgh watching the Knicks practice. Where is John Starks when you need him?

“I can’t believe I’m actually here,” said Miller, an all-time Knicks nemesis. “I’m waiting for Anthony Mason to come up behind me with a club or something.”

Why in the world was he there?  To interview players for NBA TV.  He also offered his opinion that he hoped Carmelo would stay in Denver, saying he thinks it’s better for the league and fans when stars stay in one city for their entire career.  Particularly for smaller markets, like he did with Indiana, Kevin Durant seems to be doing in Oklahoma City and like he wishes a certain someone did with Cleveland.  Our one-time nemesis also for once had some positive things to say about the organization, revealing he:

is impressed with the team Walsh built, starting with Stoudemire.

“How many guys are going to say they want to be the face of New York?” Miller said. “We know how the New York media and New York fans can be. This is a guy that is accepting that and embracing that. There are a lot of guys that like to talk the talk but they are scared to walk the walk because let’s face it, the lights here are the brightest. He’s putting his chest out and saying I want it. I respect that.”

Hmmm, could his comment about guys scared to embrace being the face of a franchise be a dig at a certain someone who shall remain nameless?  I think so.

Okay, I can’t keep it in anymore: we’re talking about you, LeBron.

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Lastly, in-between Carmelo trade speculations, this Times article reveals Coach Mike D’Antoni’s thoughts on the potential ceiling of Danilo Gallinari:

How good can he be?

“I don’t think you should put any limit on him because he’s a rare talent,” D’Antoni said. “He’s a guy who knows how to play at 6-10, defends pretty well, shoots the ball extremely well with unbelievable range — so it comes down to confidence, putting the necessary work in. He’s going to be a good player, but now you have to dissect him, look into his heart to see how good.”

“I never back down,” [Gallo] said Tuesday, sounding like a child of the American youth system. “Nobody should back down.”

The temerity is what Walsh and D’Antoni like most about Gallinari. Along with the skills, he walks with a strut.

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Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire Anthony Mason Anthony Randolph Danilo Gallinari Donnie Walsh Eddy Curry Landry Fields Mike D'Antoni Playoffs Raymond Felton Reggie Miller Toney Douglas

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