Shane Larkin was the starting point guard for the Knicks. This may come as a surprise to casual Mavs fans who largely saw Larkin in garbage time last season. Why did Head Coach Derek Fisher peg Larkin as his starter and how has he looked?
Jose Calderon returned Saturday and will start against the Mavericks. He missed the first few weeks of the season with a calf injury. Larkin did his best, but...yeah, he wasn't ready to be the lead guard in the first stages of a developing Triangle offense. Larkin's looked quick on his feet and pesky guarding passing lanes, but not big enough or sound enough in his decision-making to play big minutes as a ball-handler. I wouldn't be surprised if you see none of him on Wednesday. (Pablo Prigioni played all of the non-Calderon minutes Saturday against the Sixers, and I think he should keep them.)
New York is the best 3-point shooting team in the league, however they don't take many 3s. Is this a product of the triangle offense and should the team consider looking for more outside shots?
The Knicks still run a very deliberate, mechanical Triangle offense, so yeah, they end up taking a lot of the mid-range jumpers teams give them. They aren't yet adept at creating the absolute best shots out of the basic Triangle actions, in part because their schemes are predictable and they're still working on the counters necessary to get the shots they want.
That said, Derek Fisher doesn't seem too enthusiastic about the three and Carmelo Anthony's significantly dialed down his outside attempts by setting up in the post, so perhaps this team just won't generate a high volume of threes. We'll have to see see how they play with Calderon -- the team's best passer *and* outside shooter -- before we have a full sense of their shot selection patterns.
(And here I remind myself and you that these Knicks are in a larval, still-building stage and they're kinda just playing out the string before Phil Jackson has room to construct the team he really wants. Their habits might not directly reflect THE KNICKS' identity to come.)
There has been a seeming endless amount of subtext when it comes to Tyson Chandler's departure from New York, both from him and the Knicks. What do you make of all of it?
I think Tyson Chandler mailed in the 2013-2014 season. He missed the beginning of the year with a broken leg, then never really regained his characteristic vigor after returning. We were used to watching the guy anchor the Knicks' defense and finish every lob that came his way, but that reputation eroded as the season went on. I think it was obvious from Chandler's demeanor and from the things he said to media that he got fed up with Mike Woodson and the team around him and so stopped trying.
The Knicks had long asked Chandler to be the entire defense -- they just funneled everyone in his way and let him guard several people at once, and I think that only got worse last year, with the guards around him struggling and the bigs by his side (Amar'e and the newly added Bargnani) offering minimal assistance.
So Tyson snapped and stopped giving it his all, at least in my estimation. And while I totally understand why he would reach that point, I think it rubbed people -- fans and Knicks alike -- the wrong way. Those negative vibes, plus the fact that his offensive skill set doesn't overlap much with that of an ideal Triangle center, made him a pretty obvious trade candidate this summer, and I think the Mavs were both a sensible destination for Chandler and a good trade partner for New York.
Has Sam Dalembert had issues with his alarm clock?
Not that alarm clock, no, but the alarm clock that tells him he should shoot off-balance mid-range jumpers has been ringing constantly. He's defending the rim really, really well though!