SPANISH HARELM – The New York Knicks had their media day on Monday, as well as their start of training camp and it was exciting… It was exciting getting to see the new players that were added in free agency: Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier. They are two pieces that were added this summer and both will have a big role to play if the Knickerbockers are to make the playoffs again. The best thing about media day is that you get little tidbits from players and organization types that can provide answers to some questions that fans may have had and what new roles each player will assume.
Let’s get to some of those now…
As President of Basketball Operations for the Knicks, Leon Rose has been one of the main reasons to believe in the team. It was only a couple seasons ago that they were run by Steve Mills, who in my opinion was awful. Add Mills to the long list of executives that failed at the position. Those days seem so far away now and I can honestly say that up to this point, things have been nothing but positive.
Rose hired Tom Thibodeau, the reigning NBA Coach of the Year, who changed the culture and attitude. People in the media thought that Thibs was out of touch and his coaching style would never work with the basketball that is being played. Boy, were they wrong. Not only that, but Rose spoke with the media for the first time in over a year. Things are good with the Knicks and it shows.
Who Will Start At Point Guard?
One of the most interesting news bits that came about – due to the Walker signing – was “Who would start at point?” We all know that Thibs loves loves loves Derrick Rose. He’s the one player that has been on every team Thibs has coached and it was a fair question to ask. Nothing was said before camp but the reports that came out leaned in Kemba’s way. Now we know for sure, with [Derrick] Rose stating that he looks at Kemba as the starter. It was a nice gesture and shows the type of team first mentality that makes him such a beloved teammate.
Rose was so great with the second unit and often times was the point guard down the stretch in the 4th quarter. It’s no secret that the Knicks became better when he was acquired and it will be interesting to see if he will continue to finish games this season. I believe it will be a mix of “who is the hotter player,” which will allow them to take turns and preserve energy during the season. I don’t remember the last time the Knicks had one good point guard, let alone two. Hopefully, sharing the load will make it easier to keep both healthy.
Obi Toppin And Immanuel Quickley
Some guys are just easy to root for… Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin have that label right now. More so for Quickley, who showed a talent for floaters near the rim and good 3-point shooting. When he got hot, it was fun to watch. Obi gave us some nice moments with big dunks and showed he had potential but sometimes seem overwhelmed. Both players will look to improve upon their season and should have opportunities to do so.
Quickely will have some moments when he will be needed to play point and showed in summer league that he has worked on developing that side of his game. Obi, on the other hand showed that he could play a bigger role in the offense when he is more involved. I think you will see more of that this year for both players, as they understand their role with the team.
That’s it for now, come back tomorrow for Different Matt.
Until next time…