THURS Practice Report: The Return, Hardaway's Minutes, & Starters

Jonah Ballow


Following the exhilarating 103-102 win over Boston, the Knicks wasted little time and hit the floor at Ryerson University on Thursday afternoon.  Here are some news and notes from the practice session:

  • Andrea Bargnani will make his return to Toronto early…and not even in the regular season.  Tomorrow night, he will face the team that drafted him No. 1 overall seven years ago.  The big man debuted for New York last night and finished with 12 points.  He’s pleased with the transition thus far but also understands the work on the horizon.

    “We talk a lot.   We are trying to find the right chemistry; I think we are doing pretty good.  Yesterday was just the first game.  We work a lot in practice finding each other.  You know, it’s a process, it’s not going to take long but a little bit of time to make the game fluid and smooth,” Bargnani answered.

    Knicks head coach Mike Woodson liked what he saw from the 7-footer in his starting lineup last night, “Spacing was really good with him.  When you swing it, he’s a guy that can make shots and he missed some good looks but he’s a guy that can put it down and cause problems in terms of getting it all the way to the rim or pulling up with that little midrange shot.  I think it’s going to work; we just have to put it to use and get more reps out of him.”
  • Rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. made quite an impression on his teammates and father, who was in attendance scouting for the Miami Heat.  Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points and buried the game-winner but he is focused on improvement, not minutes.

    “I’m not really worried about playing time, I’m just trying to get an opportunity to go out there and play as hard as I can when I get the opportunity,” Hardaway Jr. stated.

    As far as comparing the game last night to his time at the University of Michigan, “Everybody is a lot stronger and more physical out there.  That’s the biggest difference between the college and NBA and I’m just trying to get better at that aspect of the game and try to get a little bit stronger and stay in the weight room or do whatever I can to get better.”

    After shooting 6-for-10 from the floor and 3-of-5 behind the arc in 25 minutes, Woodson believes Hardaway Jr. has a shot to earn court time on an incredibly deep team.

    “I think Tim has put himself in a nice position to play, there’s no doubt about that. He’s going to be in the rotation, he’s going to play some,” Woodson said.
  • Woodson will feature the same starters as Wednesday night.  Pablo Prigioni, Raymond Felton, Carmelo Anthony, Bargnani, and Tyson Chandler will start against the Raptors on Thursday.

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