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The Annoying Orange

  Apparently, the Garden painters either don't agree with me or just don't read the Fix. Since it's impossible to believe the latter, I'll have to accept that they just weren't down with my design ideas when I went all David Bromstead on em in this April blog.

Among the newness on display this afternoon at the open practice was a shiny new court. The color scheme remained the same, however, and that includes the orange three-second area. And when I see orange, I get annoyed.

I prefer blue. Old school, championship-era blue.

 Perhaps once the $775 million Garden renovation is complete, my wish will be granted. Just in time for my coveted baseline seat to be moved into the upper bowl. (Hey, I used to sit up in the blues back in the day).

According to the Knicks, there were approximately 6,500 fans in attendance for the open practice, though 15,000 free admission tickets were distributed. (Some people I heard from via Twitter and Facebook said they actually bought tickets from those who snatched up the freebees). It was a nice turnout, which filled most of the lower bowl and some of the second level, and the crowd responded well, especially to Amar'e Stoudemire.

"It was pretty loud today," Stoudemire said, "so I can imagine when the season starts how loud it can get. But I've played against the Knicks before and when they're with you, they're totally with you and that's what we're looking forward to."

Stoudemire may have had the crowd buzzing -- he ended the practice with an emphatic dunk and then roared to the crowd -- but it seems Timofey Mozgov is already developing somewhat of a cult status. Some fans took to making the Rocky IV reference by growling "Drago!" 

[Request to the MSG Game Night production staff: Mozgov on GardenVision staring down at the camera and spitting a dismissive, "I must break you."]

* * *

* - Mike D'Antoni hinted before camp that he might open up his rotation to as many as 11 players, but today he wouldn't commit to an exact number. "I just have to see how it works out and who can contribute," he said. "But I definitely will play more guys than I did last year, whatever that comes to."

* - The more Mozgov improves, the more he is likely to find his way into the starting lineup on opening night. With the team's serious issues on the boards, D'Antoni said the 7-1 Russian has to develop "a nose for the ball and develop into a good rebounder." D'Antoni said Mozgov "needs to be a guy who can bring in eight to 10 rebounds." As we saw in the FIBA World Championships last month, rebounding is not Mozgov's strong point, but that's mainly because he puts a lot of emphasis on boxing out rather than going after the ball. 

* - Got karma? Patrick Ewing Jr. has his father's old locker. "It's an honor," he said. "Landry stole my number, but at least I got this." Rookie Landry Fields claimed No. 6, the number Ewing Jr. wore during the preseason in 2008 in homage to his father, who wore No. 6 on the Dream Team in 1992. Ewing Jr. decided to go with No. 20 this year. I'll have much more on Ewing Jr. in Monday's Newsday.

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