I’m among those skeptical of Mike D’Antoni’s plans to adapt the Knicks’ existing roster to his uptempo style of play, but Newsday’s Alan Hahn reports one of the least-likely beneficiaries of said offense is meant to have a role beyond riding the pine.
Knicks center Eddy Curry, who had season-ending knee surgery March 17, has been cleared to begin his offseason workout program this week. And the 6-11, 290-pound Curry, who is back working out at Tim Grover’s Attack Athletics facility in Chicago, can expect a full regimen of wind sprints to prepare Big Eddy for new coach Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo system.
D’Antoni, who had to incorporate the equally lumbering Shaquille O’Neal in his run-and-gun style with the Phoenix Suns, said he hopes to utilize Curry a great deal in the game plan next season. And it’s up to Grover to get Curry prepared for it.
“It’s never that he can’t, it’s does he want to?” said Grover, who has worked with Curry since he entered the NBA out of high school in 2001 and is fully aware of Curry’s issues with putting in the work.
Curry entered training camp last year announcing he was 20 pounds lighter, but by midseason it was apparent that the girth was back and his confidence was gone after major chemistry issues on the court with Zach Randolph. Isiah Thomas started benching Curry late in games and said Curry was not suited for the new style of the NBA game.
D’Antoni doesn’t believe that. Neither does Grover. In the D’Antoni system, the big man usually follows the break and can be an outlet for a mid-range jumper, something Curry insists he has in his repertoire, though Thomas never tried to utilize it. D’Antoni also is sure to incorporate a lot of the pick-and-roll plays that Curry and Jamal Crawford turned into alley-oops.
All the D’Antoni system calls for from Curry is to remain in constant motion. “If he does,” Grover said, “then he’ll get baskets very easy.”