Training Camp Report: Sunday

Jonah Ballow
KnicksNow.com

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11.

That’s the key number to take away from Sunday’s training camp practice for the New York Knicks. For the first time since camp opened on Friday afternoon, head coach Mike D’Antoni had 11 players at his disposal, including newly acquired big man Tyson Chandler and free agent Mike Bibby. Additionally, rookies Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrellson inked their deals along with Jared Jeffries, who re-signed on Sunday morning.

Entering his 14th season in the league, Bibby explained his mindset after signing with New York, “I’m going to go out and do whatever it takes to help the team win. If that means standing on the sideline cheering, that’s what I have to do. I’m here to win and play the role they want me to play.”

Beyond the statistics, Bibby will offer the Knicks young backcourt a wealth of knowledge from a 13-year career and 100 appearances in postseason games.

“We’re all teammates, so anything I can do to help, that’s what I’m going to do. If he [Toney Douglas] needs me, I will be in his ear. I know he is young, so I’m going to help him as much as I can, even with Shumpert too,” Bibby stated.

Bibby can orchestrate the offense at the point guard position or float to the two spot where he is dangerous as a 3-point shooter. Just two seasons ago, the former Arizona guard hit 54 percent from long range for the Atlanta Hawks during the postseason. Early in his career, Bibby joined forces with Chris Webber in Sacramento to form a nearly unstoppable pick-and-roll tandem.

In New York, Bibby is ecstatic to play for one of the best offensive teams in the league, “I’ve always wanted to play for D’Antoni and here is my chance.”

Interestingly, Chandler and Bibby squared off in last year’s NBA Finals and the former Mavericks center offered a little perspective on his new teammate’s time in Miami.

“Last year was a difficult position for him. He came in late and tried to gel with a team and didn’t necessarily have the ball in his hands that much either. In this situation, he will have the opportunity to get comfortable and I expect big things from him,” Chandler said.

Mathematically, the numbers worked in the coaches’ favor as the staff set up a 5-on-5 scrimmage as the new members received an opportunity to work on their chemistry. The intensity inside the gym mirrored a game-like atmosphere, considering the squad only has six days to prepare for the first preseason game and 14 days until the home opener against Boston.

“Guys are willing to work,' Chandler proclaimed. "Guys were getting after it today, you can see that and that’s all you want. If the effort is there, everything else can come after it. We are going to learn and figure each other out. “

Training camp will continue tomorrow at Madison Square Garden Training Center prior to Media Day. Stay tuned to KnicksNow.com for comprehensive coverage and a live chat with the players on Monday afternoon.
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