Training Camp Report: Friday


Jonah Ballow
KnicksNow.com

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The first day of training camp brought the Knicks back together as one cohesive unit with big news swirling around a crazy day of free agency and a major piece of the puzzle possible landing in New York soon.

“We’re really interested in him and he would be a great addition to the team,” Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni explained to the large media contingency when asked about the potential acquisition of free agent Tyson Chandler.

Knicks All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire added, “I’m glad he’s with us and not against us. His length always bothers us but now he’s on our side. So it’s going to help us.”

Carmelo Anthony was all smiles when the media inquired about a new frontline member on his squad, “NBA where amazing happens. And it’s happening right now. We’re going to welcome [Chandler] with open arms. He’s ready he’s excited for that.”

The players who were in attendance on Friday evening hit the floor with a sense of urgency as the first preseason game is only eight days away. Anthony, Stoudemire, Landry Fields, Renaldo Balkman, Toney Douglas, Bill Walker, and Andy Rautins spent significant time on the court and in the film room for day one of training camp.

“It was good,” Stoudemire stated. “We got a lot of work done. We talked about the fundamentals of offense and defense -- introduced the strategies to the new guys. But we definitely feel great about our team. It’s a great start for us.”

While Stoudmeire continued to banter with the media about his new found growth spurt and bulky 260-pound frame, Anthony eluded to his status in the fitness department.

“I’m in great shape. I’m not going to run around and take my shirt off but I’m in great shape. I put in a lot of work this offseason, “Anthony said.

All jokes aside, D’Antoni, Stoudemire, and Anthony described their focus on the defensive side of the floor during the media availability. Throughout the practice session, new assistant coach Mike Woodson put the team through a myriad of defensive drills, which included full court defensive tactics and applying pressure in the half court to generate turnovers.

Knicks fans will certainly hear the mantra from Anthony and company throughout training camp, “We still have to secure the paint. We all know we can score the basketball. That’s not a problem for us. Our goal this year is to keep teams under 100 points. We started talking about that today. Let's get it going.”

The team will reconvene tomorrow afternoon at the Training Center for their second consecutive day of practice. Check out KnicksNow.com for live tweets and comprehensive coverage following the session.
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