Be ready for failure, Knicks fans.
Amare Stoudemire set the parameters for next season while speaking with MSG during a Knicks Summer League contest (as transcribed by Newsday). And like you want a competitor to say, he set the bar very high.
“Anything less than a championship,” the power forward said on MSG Thursday during Knicks’ Summer League broadcast from Las Vegas, “is a waste of a season.”
The Knicks should be better next season — just a full season under Mike Woodson without the turmoil of a mid-season coaching switch will help. Marcus Camby is a good fit as a backup big man and Raymond Felton seems motivated. They will get a good seed, maybe have a first round home court advantage, maybe get to the second round.
But unless there are some big changes, they are not coming out of the East. Miami got better and they have the crown. Boston got better. Chicago is potentially a title contender depending on Derrick Rose. After that there is a step down to the next tier in the East, where New York, Indiana and likely Brooklyn live. For the Knicks to get out of the East pretty much everything has to go right, then they would get to the finals and run into the Thunder or Lakers and, well. Bust.
But you don’t really want or expect Stoudemire to say anything otherwise.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.