Amar’e Stoudemire, Marcus Camby, and Chris Smith were sidelined for Saturday’s practice session. Stoudemire is dealing with a sore left ankle and Camby will miss approximately 7-10 days due to a strained left calf.
“These are injuries that creep up in camp, we just have to make sure we stay on top of it and have them ready to play,” head coach Mike Woodson stated.
There is an interesting dynamic taking place in the backcourt as Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd are beginning to develop chemistry during the early portion of camp. Felton has stated several times that he is ultra motivated to improve on last year’s production in Portland. The former New York point guard also explained the amount of respect he holds for the future Hall of Famer.
“He’s been talking to me everyday and staying in my ear, helping me out tremendously,” Felton said. “He’s been great. He is a big role model of mine, I watched him when I was in high school and when he was in the NBA. So, just the opportunity to play with him and pick his brain, it’s a plus for me.”
Kidd shared his thoughts on teaming with Felton as well, “I think Raymond has been great. He is a guy that puts a lot of pressure on the defense and on defense he causes havoc by getting in the passing lanes. I’ve been pushing him and he’s been pushing me and we’ve been helping each other. I want the game to be easy for him and he’s playing at a high level right now.”
While watching some of the training camp sessions, it’s evident that Kidd and Felton understand the pace of the game. Some young players rush into bad decisions in order to keep up with the elite athletes at this level. These two veteran guards own a strong intuition of when to slam on the pedal or pump the brakes to allow a play to develop.
“The speed of the game is big because you have to wait for your big men but you also want to make sure you get a good shot every time down,” Kidd articulated.
Next Thursday is the first preseason tilt for the Knicks. With nine days to prepare for its first game action against an opponent, New York will have plenty of time to work on conditioning, implement offensive and defensive sets, and build relationships inside the locker room.
Kidd described the process for the players during camp, “Guys get here early to get our weights in or some treatment and then we are on the court from 11 to almost 2. A lot of drills but right now we are getting into the 5-on-5 stuff where we are breaking things down and talking defensively and offensively."