Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.
Knicks focusing on the big picture, the big prize
The Knicks continue to talk about being professional and putting team before self.
That mentality has helped them to an 11-4 record without two key players in Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert.
Raymond Felton said having a veteran team and having the big picture in mind have keyed the start.
“I’ve been on a team where a lot of guys were playing for contracts,” Felton said “It’s kind of difficult in the sense of everybody worrying about numbers, everybody wants to score.
“I’m on a team where most of the guys have their contracts. Most of the guys have years where they’ve already got their big contract before. I’m on a team where everybody is looking to win. Everybody has one common goal and that’s to win a championship. That’s what we’re working toward.”
Only four of the Knicks win have come against teams that were above .500 as of Saturday, but it’s an impressive start nonetheless as they're winning games they're supposed to win.
“It proves that we want to be great, we want to be successful,” J.R. Smith said. “In order to be great and successful in this league you have to beat the teams you’re supposed to beat and beat the teams that’s going to be tough to beat.
“As long as we take care of the easy games and worry about the hard games when we get to it, it should be easy.”
The Knicks are beating the teams they should beat. They have another game against one of those teams tomorrow when the Knicks put their 6-0 home mark up against the 7-10 Suns, who are 2-7 on the road.
Today's session was more of a walk-through than a practice since the Knicks won’t shootaround before today’s noon start.
Mike Woodson said the plan is to have a full-blown practice Tuesday before the Knicks travel to Charlotte to open a three-game trip.
“I’m going to try and get a nice little piece of them Tuesday, just to help the young guys too in terms of conditioning and guys like Marcus and Sheed, who aren’t getting a lot of minutes,” Woodson said. “They need some conditioning.
“Guys like Marcus and [Chris Copeland] and the young guys who don’t get very many minutes, they lose timing and that’s important. Whatever minutes you do get you have to have some kind of rhythm and timing where you feel good on the court.”