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News » New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-12-01

New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-12-01

New York Knicks Getting Inside 2009-12-01While the majority of Knicks fans at this point would prefer the losing be part of a youth movement, coach Mike D'Antoni is stubbornly going mainly with veterans and has even decided to shorten his rotation to just eight players.

This leaves rookies Toney Douglas and Jordan Hill, both of whom have shown some flashes of ability in brief stints, stuck on the bench until further notice. Even with Eddy Curry out of the lineup with a knee injury, D'Antoni has opted to stay with the wholly ineffective Jared Jeffries rather than give the 6-10 Hill, the team's lottery pick, some burn.

There might be a method to D'Antoni's madness, however. Consider that the franchise would love to dump Jeffries' $6.8 million salary from the 2010-11 salary cap to clear more space for free agency this summer. You can't do that if Jeffries doesn't play (of course, that provokes the thought that if Jeffries doesn't play well, any chance to move him would disappear).

D'Antoni has also been fiercely loyal to Chris Duhon despite the point guard's awful start this season. Douglas showed early signs of being an effective scorer, but he since has proved to be mostly a one-dimensional player on offense, with very little ability to run an offense or set up teammates. Duhon is the team's only true point guard who can run the pick-and-roll, which is such a vital part of what D'Antoni does on offense.

The only two players who are expected to be part of the team's future and are getting minutes are Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. Chandler has been mostly disappointing this season -- he has little explosiveness after offseason ankle surgery to remove bone spurs. Gallinari has developed a reputation as one of the league's top marksmen from three-point range, but he has not been trustworthy on defense and is not able to create his own shot. He also is often lost within the offense and, sometimes, completely ignored by his teammates.

Again, D'Antoni might be doing this to protect some of his young players, especially over this rough stretch of games. The Knicks faced the Celtics, Lakers and Nuggets last week and this week have the Magic twice, the Suns and the Hawks. It's probably better to go with the vets such as Al Harrington and Larry Hughes, who at least have been through the wars before.

It is likely, too, that D'Antoni will give the veterans -- six of whom are in contract years, don't forget -- the first half of the season to do what they can. After Game 41, if the team is still a disaster, he can then turn it over to the young players and let the likes of Gallinari, Chandler, Douglas and Hill get the bulk of the minutes and gain valuable experience.

MAGIC 114, KNICKS 102: Rashard Lewis found his three-point stroke at the worst possible time for the Knicks, who had gone toe-to-toe with the defending Eastern Conference champions until Lewis got hot during a 13-3 third-quarter run that essentially put the game away. Lewis finished with 26 points and Dwight Howard had 24 points and 16 rebounds for the Magic (14-4). Nate Robinson had 24 points and David Lee had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks (3-14), who lost their fifth straight game overall and seventh straight at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are 1-8 at home this season.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 1, 2009


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