It's probably a courtesy audition, but it does fit snugly into the 2012 Knick age movement. McGrady is 33 years old, a comparative baby when you consider Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas will all receive their AARP mail at the team's offices.
But it does stir a thought or two about the composition of the Knick roster, and how it corresponds with the coach's mantra. Mike Woodson was brought to New York as the anti-Mike D'Antoni, a defensive mastermind in a world of quick shots, motion offense, and lots of points. His first task as assistant coach was to coax something in the way of defense from a group of players unlikely to play it. When D'Antoni escaped the Garden through the back door, Woodson completed the season in grand fashion and with a winning record. Such a feat is so uncommon in Knick-world, there was no way to avoid re-hiring him.
They did, and you wonder if he was even consulted about some of the moves that have taken place since. With no Iman Shumpert for a while, the starting lineup doesn't exactly feature any defensive stalwarts other than Tyson Chandler, who appears he will again be all alone under the basket fending off opposing offenses like Orlando Bloom in Lord of the Rings - only Chandler will unlikely have a bow and arrow at his disposal.
Everyone knows the limitations of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire on the defensive end. Anthony seems capable of improving there a little, but Stoudemire is forever stationary appearing to be glued to the hardwood. We've seen Raymond Felton on the Knicks before, and there's little question of his quickness, both on his feet and with his hands, but he does not possess a sterling reputation as a defender. Then, of course, there's J.R. Smith, who is sometimes quite active defensively, but prone to head-scratching mistakes on both ends of the floor.
Then, Steve Novak, Jason Kidd, and Marcus Camby enter the game...well, enough said. Here's a hearty good luck to Mr. Woodson as he attempts to parlay that group into the Pat Riley Knicks.
Glenn Vallach has been a basketball fan, player, and coach during his lifetime and, as such, an ardent follower of the NBA even with all its warts. He have also been a New York Knick fan since the days of Howie Komives and Walt Bellamy, when he regularly boarded the IRT Subway at 180th Street in the Bronx for a trip to the Garden to see his heroes.
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Knicks page
- · Yahoo! Sports Carmelo Anthony page
- · Yahoo! Sports Amare Stoudemire page
- · Yahoo! Sports Tyson Chandler page
- · Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports, Tracy McGrady works out for Spurs, Knicks
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