Aside from starting lineup talk, the main takeaways from New York Knicks practice on Thursday in Toronto were their veteran big men inching closer to returning and the team moving on from the 125-91 disaster in Indiana. The Knicks play the Toronto Raptors on Friday at 7 p.m. Practice took place before Ronnie Brewer was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, so no one commented on the move.
'Intense' practice: Amar'e Stoudemire called the Knicks' post-blowout practice “very, very intense” and Carmelo Anthony was on the same page. “Guys were angry,” Anthony said before catching himself. “Not angry, but kind of upset. As a team we feel like we let ourselves down. Being a part of a game like last night, as much as I want to say put it behind us -- and we’re going to put it behind us -- it’s still a game that we played. It’s a game that we lost and we felt like it was kind of an embarrassment, so we just want to come out and put that game behind us.”
Moving on: The first thing Mike Woodson said about the Indiana game was “we can’t go back and get it.” He elaborated when asked if it could serve as a turning point: “When you go through the league, everybody’s been smacked once or twice this year like that,” Woodson said. “I mean the top teams. It happens. But again we haven’t been at the tail end, we’ve been at the top end of blowing [teams] out. And that’s no fun, to sit through something like that and watch our team have no answer at all. I don’t care how you slice it, everything we did was wrong last night and Indiana looked like world-beaters. It could be a wake-up call, I would like to think so and hope so, so we’ll see."
Injured bigs: Woodson said he was pleased with practice, particularly because of the extra bodies doing work at the Raptors’ practice facility at the Air Canada Centre. “[Marcus] Camby practiced today a little bit and Rasheed [Wallace] ran up and down a little bit in our conditioning,” said Woodson. “Camby scrimmaged a little bit, so that was a plus.” Woodson said he didn’t know yet when Camby would return, but “just to see him out there scrimmaging is a step forward, so that’s kind of nice.”
Looking ahead: Woodson said the Raptors proved they were a good team when they defeated the Knicks at Madison Square Garden before the All-Star break. While he said he wants his players to be motivated by staying on top of the Atlantic Division rather than payback, Anthony hasn’t forgotten the Knicks’ 92-88 loss. “They’ve been playing much better, especially since the trade went down with Rudy [Gay],” Anthony said. “We know in the back of our minds they beat us on our home court, so we want to come back and return that favor.”