Tommy DeeThere will be many story lines heading into the first preseason game against the Wizards tonight at 7. I’ve been asking people on Twitter what they are hoping to see tonight and you’d expect responses like “chemistry” and “play hard for 48 minutes.” While these are important, let’s drill a little deeper.
Mychel Thompson- You’ve heard a ton about the kid here and this is the perfect opportunity to see where his development is at. The Knicks are in need of help at the wing in terms of offensive production and Thompson can slide in and be a pleasant surprise with his smooth jumper and ability to find seams in the defense. He’s got an NBA frame at 6’7 215 and shot 41% from three for Erie last season. Is he ready to contribute?
Offensive Sets- Mike Woodson has talked about a combination of things offensively including keeping some sets that Mike D’Antoni ran along with some post entry looks. Expect to see some Melo at the 4 in the pick and roll surrounded by shooters with space, a D’Antoni staple, along with posting Melo at the block and trying to incorporate Jason Kidd, J.R. Smith and Steve Novak in spot shooting situations off double teams.
Defensive Rotations- You’ve heard me scream about it for years but I don’t want to see any switching on screens tonight. Play your man straight up and fight through screens. If they run a successful set with some ball movement I want to see aggressive close outs produced by proper rotations.
Back Court Production- Specifically on offense, specifically made shots from 18-21 feet. They need to space the court if they are going to be post-heavy and the only way to achieve this is by skip passes, extra passing and catch and makes from the perimeter.