The lights flicker on, one by one in a row at the Knicks training facility. The smell of floor polisher is fresh in the air. This day is not like any other summer day, this day is Day 1 of the organized pre camp sessions. The sound of basketballs hitting the floor begins to ring off the walls and the smell of sweat over powers the freshly polished floors. Carmelo calls all the players into a team huddle and expresses the NY plan for winning in 12/13. They huddle at center court and ends with an all hands in and KNICKS chant in unison. Practice begins with a quick whistle.
The significance of this pre camp is something we as fans and media might look back on. Chemistry and dedication is the bookmark to a high level play in the NBA. Every player has talent, but talent is not the deciding factor in winning. The deciding factor is heart and desire; that cannot be taught; and are needed to reach the goal of an NBA Championship. Do these Knicks have the heart and desire to win at all costs? This is a question we need answered this year.
In New York, the blend of talent and knowledge is at the highest level we have ever seen in the last 10 years. Learning each other and their nuances will determine the path of this Knick team. Of course media and some real Knick haters will never give the respect and potential possibilities of driving deep into the playoffs. These critics and pundits should be tuned out. The only chatter should be that of the coaching staff and the players themselves.
Conditioning is a must, but not the only pivotal part of winning. Learning defensive schemes and rotations is, in some cases more important. Offense and defense are one in the same, therefore the transition game can be a seamless flow from one to another this season. Pushing the ball after defensive rebounds and breaking down the court, could catch teams off guard and put pressure on their coaches to make changes. When teams change personnel during the game, New York needs to adjust. Being deep gives other teams fits and allows our players to save their legs.
When this pre camp is adjourned in early October before official training camp begins, what kind of mental shape will the team be in? Will they be dedicated, confident on defense, ready to battle, and brewing with chemistry? The window is small and only open for a few years. Carpe Diem Knicks, and take it to the opponent wherever they are. Carpe Diem!
Peter A. Knickswag Chief Editor