Courtesy of Newsday, here’s what New York Knicks coach had to say recently about 21-year old forward Anthony Randolph, whom the Knicks acquired in the sign-and-trade deal that sent David Lee to the Warriors and D’Antoni referred to as a “future stat magnet”:
“He should go on the floor and have three blocks, five rebounds, get to the line three times, have two dunks and when he comes out he only played five minutes and you go, ‘Whoa, look at that!’ Then he goes to seven minutes and then to 10 minutes. He has to have so much energy that he’s changing the game.”
D’Antoni is dead-on about how versatile Randolph can be. The 2008 lottery pick is listed at 6′ 11, possesses a 7-3 wingspan, has incredible athleticism, leaping ability, and great timing when he goes to block a shot. He can handle the ball extremely well for a man his size, and even played point forward successfully in Summer league. He’s shown flashes of a mid-range game. He uses his long arms to play the passing lanes and grab steals. D’Antoni is right — Randolph has the talent to fill up stat sheets the way somebody like Andrei Kirilenko or Shawn Marion used to.
However, Randolph’s talent has never really been in question. His biggest problem in the NBA, other than staying healthy, has been figuring out how to put all of his talents together — he fell in love with his barely-adequate jumper in Golden State, and it often seemed like he goes out on the court with no real idea of what he was supposed to do when he got out there. If D’Antoni can figure out a way to get Randolph to utilize his strengths without allowing him to indulge his on-court vices, the 21-year old forward is more than capable of flourishing in D’Antoni’s system.
Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.
But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.
There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.
Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….
Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.
This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.
If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.
The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.
Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.
Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.
Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.