With the Knicks mired in a six-game losing streak, coach Mike D'Antoni changed things up when he scheduled the first home shootaround of the season before Monday's win over the Orlando Magic.
When he first arrived in New York, D'Antoni decided to not hold shootarounds for home games, mainly out of convenience to the players, who live in various parts of the New York City area. The team's practice facility is in Westchester County, and for players who live in Manhattan, it could take as much as 45 minutes to an hour each way, which would cut into game day. Holding the shootarounds at Madison Square Garden is often a logistical nightmare because of the building's availability, plus the problem with players who live near the practice facility.
In the past, some coaches have given those players the option to stay at a Manhattan hotel in the afternoon, which doesn't sit well with players who have families. D'Antoni opted to have the team arrive at the Garden in the late afternoon for a walk-through to go over the strategies for that night's game.
"New York is a little bit different than other places," D'Antoni said. "I just don't know if having Amar'e (Stoudemire) being in the car for two hours in the morning before a game is the best way to go."
Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony both live in Manhattan.
D'Antoni decided to go this route mainly because the team had come off a back-to-back Saturday night in Charlotte, and D'Antoni wanted to give them a day of rest on Sunday. But D'Antoni was concerned about just having a walk-through against the Magic, so he decided to hold a more formal shootaround to get the players to break a sweat, get loose and get focused.
"We hope this works," he said, "but the bottom line is not this, it's going out for 48 minutes and trying to crush somebody. And we haven't done that."
KNICKS 113, MAGIC 106 (OT): Chauncey Billups hit a three-pointer, then chased down a rebound and hit Carmelo Anthony for a fast-break dunk to give the Knicks a 108-104 lead with 2:46 left in overtime. Jason Richardson had hit a three-pointer with 5.7 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 100 and force overtime. Anthony had 39 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks (36-38), who snapped a six-game losing streak. Dwight Howard had 29 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Magic (47-27).
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