I did a Q&A for tonight’s game with my homie’s over at Knicks Fanatics. Definitely check out their site, as they are some solid dudes. Definitely the coolest Knicks fans I’ve ever met, and that’s saying something. Anyways, in case you somehow missed it… the Wolves play the Knicks tonight at 6:30 PM, on FSN North. At least this game is actually on TV, unlike the two this past weekend, and KLove’s epic 31-31 game. What fail that is having so many games not broadcasted. Anyways, I digress.
Check out my pre-game Q&A with the fellas over at Knicks Fanatics! And be nice. They are New Yorkers, remember. And they have a better team than us.
Don’t forget to check out the TWolves Blog Forums for much more convo and commentary. Tonight’s TWB Forum Game Thread can be found at that link.
And definitely check out what my man LIVES from Knicks Fanatics has to say in response to my questions, below after the jump!
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College Wolf: Not to be overly general to kick things off, but how are you feeling about your Knicks so far this season?
LIVES: So far, Better than last year. The pain is in remission as the Knicks not only win but do it in tenacious and relentless fashion. Right now we are three games above .500 and riding a four game winning streak mostly against losing teams, but we are developing a confidence, swagger and attraction to victory that could carry this team farther than it should have been able to go without some more superstar personnel.
CW: Two words: Darko. Go.
LIVES: Three more words: Curry. Take Him.
CW: In all seriousness, have most Knicks fans finally given up on thinking that Kahn is going to hand Rubio to you guys?
LIVES: The opinions in Knick fandom range from the absurd to the most statistically reasoned. However, there is a dispersed sect of Knick fans that is often mesmerized by it’s own powers of suggestion. Kinda like the suggestion that LeBron-New York was inevitable because Broadway had theatres and Madison Avenue was the home of major marketing firms. But most Knicks fans are brilliant and multilingual. We understand Kahn’s sign language; we know what that raised middle finger stands for when we claim Rubio as ours because Minnesota is too cold during basketball season. But we also understand player-speak and tend to believe that in a game of “Paper-Scissors-Finger” paper (repping the contract to be signed by a player) always beats the finger. That’s why Carmelo will be a Knick unless he changes his mind in July. That’s why Chris Paul can be a Knick unless he changes his mind in 2012. And that’s why Rubio will be a Knick after his rookie contract expires. Just blogging.
CW: What can we expect from the Knicks Offensively?
LIVES: Tenacity. What I love about this team is that it plays all 48 minutes. You will not see a mistake resulting from lack of effort. This team will score. That’s what D’Antoni teams are bred to do. They will take the first or second open shot. Often from the perimeter. You will see Stoudemire almost impossible to stop from mid-range inward. He will lead by booring through and flying over your defense. You will see Shawne Williams resurrected with three point accuracy. You will see Landry Fields play brilliant active basketball and rebound put backs as he flies through the lane. You will wonder why Gallinari is considered such a great shooter until he pops a couple of timely tres if you don’t guard the perimeter. And you will be escorted through the world of point guard Raymond Felton as he runs the offense with determination, nice mid-range accuracy and occasional drives to the basket.
CW: What can we expect defensively?
LIVES: Nothing. No, kidding. The Knicks’ defense is more about hustle than careful planning. Their defense looks best when they cheat the lanes for steals and block shots after the back court gets beat in transition or in the pick and roll. These Knicks will outwork their opponent which is the key to their game. The Knicks have no interior defense at all. If you have a proficient scorer at center or power forward, he can expect to have a big night on the offensive end, but a lot of trouble on the defensive end trying to guard Stoudemire alone. If the Timberwolves work on the boards as Kevin Love did the last game and the other players hustle for loose balls and respect every possession, the Twolves can win. I’m guessing they won’t do any of that for more than 20 minutes tops.
Also, if you have a good pick and roll, Felton will get lost under the screens. He’s much faster on offense than he is defensively. And the Knicks will also pack the paint until your team proves it can hit jumpers. Even then the Knicks are not good on perimeter rotations most of the game, but they get locked in for spurts.
CW: What must the Wolves do to beat the Knicks and vice-a-versa?
LIVES The Wolves must outwork the Knicks for about 40 minutes. They must be willing to go for loose balls and rebounds on both ends. They must limit turnovers and be proficient in an up-tempo game if they want to run. It’s better not to run with the Knicks. Stoudemire must be neutralized, which can happen if he is forced to catch the ball closer to the elbow and doubled as soon as the ball touches the hardwood. If the Wolves have any length and speed, they must run at the perimeter shooters instead of giving them target practice. If Knicks get free shots at the basket, the Wolves suck. Finally, the Twolves need not get overly impressed with their own prowess from the arc. They need to pound the ball inside, accumulate fouls, get our bigs into foul trouble and wear down our guards who played the Raptors the afternoon before.
The Knicks must rebound and pound the ball into the paint. If Gallinari wakes up and plays an all-round game by being more aggressive to the basket, the Wolves might as well complete their D-League application. Otherwise, we simply need to play our game and just outwork the Twolves, which we need to do to overcome the inevitable turnovers.
CW: Lastly, game prediction?
LIVES: I’m never good at predictions. I think the Twolves should be winning more than they are. If they come to work, they can beat the Knicks. If they shoot jumpshots and stand around looking at the boogers they’ve pulled out of their noses, the Knicks will run them into the ground. As a Knick fan, I vote against Twolf boogers/