Steve Mills On Team Needs, Advanced Stats, & Amar'e Stoudemire

Jonah Ballow


While on the current road trip and a stop north of the border, new Knicks executive vice president and general manager Steve Mills spent some time with the New York media.  Mills shared his thoughts on the current roster, team needs, utilizing advanced stats, and an update on Amar’e Stoudemire.  Here are some highlights from the session:

Mills On Team Needs
“Obviously, we need to figure out where we are going to be with a back up center, where that is.  Camp has been good and we’re only one game in but Cole [Aldrich] has played well.  That’s something we clearly need to work on.”

Mills On Knicks New Additions & Depth
“I think [Andrea] Bargnani is a big addition to us.  I think he is going to make the game interesting when he and Carmelo are out there together.  He is going to create some difficulties for teams defensively.  I think to have two bigs like him and Tyson [Chandler] out there on the court at the same time that also to have a scoring presence, which we really didn’t have last year.  I think he is going to make a big difference and I think the depth that we have at the point is really impressive.  Raymond is playing really, really well and I talked to the coaches, they spent a lot of time with him over the summer, working on different parts of his game.  I didn’t know Pablo [Prigioni] before but getting a chance to spend time with him and seeing what a pro he is and watch how he works out everyday, actually outside of my office.  Every morning, I hear the machine open that rebounds for the players and I know it’s him.  When you walk out there and every single shot that guy takes is what he gets in a game.  He’s very efficient in terms of how he prepares and Beno [Udrih] is healthy this year and he’s just added a lot – just as a good, solid guard.  Watching the depth at that position I think is really impressive.”

Mills On Utilizing Advanced Stats
“I really look forward to discussing more with Mike [Woodson].  You know, Mike always talks about himself being an old school coach, so we’ll talk a lot about that.  I really look forward to seeing exactly what impact Sports VU is going to have for us.  We were obviously one of the six or seven teams that had it and you don’t get a complete data set when there are only six teams that are using it but as the whole league is using it, it’s no longer a competitive advantage and that’s situation.  But, it gives you an opportunity if you look for the right things; it allows you to really help us out.  I’ve spent some time with Mike Smith, who works on that stuff and identifying some statistics and type of stats that we think can be helpful for us.  Just trying to sort of work with that but we’re just in the early stages of it.”

Mills On Decision Making
“Those kind of decisions I really just leave to Mike [Woodson] in terms of who is going to start.  I look at this in terms of my role in that regard is to make sure that we have the right kind of players in camp and on the team that he needs and they also fit with where we want to go with the team strategically, taking a longer-term view.”

Mills On Amar’e Stoudemire
“We are bringing him along slowly, we left a lot of staff back with him and Jeremy Tyler and J.R. [Smith] to give them everything they need so they continue to work everyday.  We’re mesasuing how much soreness there is, if there is any swelling and we have a plan what we want him to do every single day from the day we came to training camp.  And, everyday we assess where he is and hopefully we’ll be at a point where he’ll be ready at the start of the season.”

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