Observations from the Knicks’ preseason win over the Wizards

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Through five preseason games leading into Wednesday’s matchup against the Wizards, the Knicks had struggled to look like a team. The weaknesses were glaring as Carmelo Anthony & Co. failed to find continuity and get into a rhythm.

USATSI_8157251_110579513_lowresBut against Washington, certain things began to click. Of course, New York was still a step behind on defense throughout the game. While increased defensive pressure has been a priority of Derek Fisher’s throughout the preseason, one has to wonder if this team truly has the personnel necessary to put forth a worthy defensive effort.

Without Jose Calderon, Pablo Prigioni and even the speedy Shane Larkin were collectively a step behind John Wall all night long. Unable to keep up, the Knicks were failed to take control as he and Otto Potter poured in the points.

On a night where the defense was discouraging, to say the least, New York was able to do some impressive things on offense. Carmelo Anthony looked more relaxed, and thus, his team was able to come away with a victory down the stretch. Here are some other key observations from the game.

- Shane Larkin struggled in his first start. He’s erratic and runs the floor in an overanxious manner. Larkin often runs head first into traffic, unaware of where to go or what to do from there.

- Larkin’s struggles give way to why it’s so important to continue playing Pablo Prigioni worthwhile minutes. It’s one thing to rest and keep veterans fresh, but New York will be in need of his calm demeanor when it comes to controlling the tempo and helping this team make the right decisions on offense. Larkin may prove to be a liability when Calderon sits early on.

- While things aren’t as seamless as they may like, basic formations of the triangle offense were there for the Knicks against Washington. The team is beginning to understand, though they aren’t making it very pretty just yet. The effort is there, and it led to moderate success on Wednesday.

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Andrea Bargnani

Bargnani undergoes MRI on hamstring

Andrea Bargnani had an MRI on his ailing hamstring, he told Italian reporters (New York Post, Oct. 23).

Bargnani has missed every game since the preseason opener with a tight right hamstring.

“Injuries are always frustrating,” he said. “We’re working every day to get it ready to go on the court.”

The team and Bargnani still aren’t sure if he’ll be able to play in the season opener, or the second game on the following day.

GEICO SportsNite: Knicks on win, progress

Carmelo Anthony and Derek Fisher talk about Wednesday night’s win as well as the progress the team has made in the preseason.

Game Recap: Knicks 103 – Wizards 100

Recap: Behind a 31-point fourth quarter, the Knicks topped the Wizards on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Need to Know: With the game tied at 100 and 13.9 seconds remaining, Carmelo Anthony hit a mid-range jumper and was fouled. He then hit the ensuing free throw to put the Knicks up by 3.

Overall, Anthony racked up 30 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.

Amar’e Stoudemire scored 13 points and grabbed 8 boards.

Tim Hardaway, Jr., inserted into the starting lineup, had 12 points.

Links: Recap | Box Score | Play by Play

What’s Next: The Knicks wrap up the preseason on October 24 at 7:30 p.m. against the Raptors.

Carmelo Anthony and Derek Fisher talk about Wednesday night’s win as well as the progress the team has made in the preseason.

Examining Phil Jackson’s influence on Knicks’ glory days

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Having premiered on ESPN on Tuesday night, Michael Rapaport’s When The Garden Was Eden recaptured the Knicks’ glory days and allowed fans to reminisce for a bit.

Of course, thirteen-time NBA champion turned Knicks’ President Phil Jackson was along for both victory rides.

But ironically enough, despite winning eleven championship rings by preaching the triangle offense to his players as a coach, he wasn’t known for putting the ball in the basket as a player.

Instead, Jackson was relied upon on for his gritty defense. He was the type of player who threw his body around and had no problem diving for loose balls. The game may not have been very pretty when he played it, but the man now known as the Zen Master became a quick fan-favorite for his continued hustle.

He may not have been very speedy nor agile, but he was, instead, intelligent and evasive.

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