At the 2008 draft, Donnie Walsh thought Anthony Randolph was talent-wise "the best player" available. But he still went ahead and selected Danilo Gallinari with the sixth pick because he thought he was "all-around the best choice to make." Now, Walsh has both players, and Mike D'Antoni is starting to seeing the full extent of Randolph's talent -- not only on offense (New York Post). "He'll guard a point guard. He'll guard a five," D'Antoni said. "He'll be all over the place; that's due to his talent. He'll guard [Rajon] Rondo and he'll guard Dwight Howard." Another unique skill set Randolph will be displaying more this season, being that he's 6'11", is his three-point shooting. The coaching staff is working with him to improve on his 1 for 9 career mark from beyond the arc.
In addition to Randolph, another potential X-factor who's been impressing Walsh in training camp is Andy Rautins. While Rautins realizes he'll be taking a back seat to the vets, he feels that he definitely fits in well with D'Antoni's offense (Bleacher Report). "D’Antoni’s the type of guy who likes to run up and down the court," Rautins said. "That’s the type of system we had at Syracuse, so I’m pretty familiar with it. For a guy like me, that likes to shoot the ball and can do so with range, I think it’s going to be a good fit."
The Knicks leave for Milan today, where they'll play Gallinari's former club, Armani Jeans Milano, and then they'll head to Paris on Sunday to take on the Timberwolves. But D'Antoni doesn't want his players to only gel on the court (New York Daily News). "We want everybody out in Italy and Paris," D'Antoni said. "We want them to go out and explore, develop that bond. We don't want them just sitting in a hotel watching TV, eating and just getting ready for the game. We'll encourage them to go out. We can't make it happen. It's up to the players."
Perhaps Gallinari can bring his game-winning magic to Milan, and Timofey Mozgov can nail his post-up bank shots in Paris, like they demonstrated in Knicks' practice yesterday. By the way, Gallinari is also working on moves on the block (FromtheBaseline.com).
Amare Alert: Stoudemire is already a hit in Milan. Knicks beat writer Frank Isola of the New York Daily News tweeted today, "Here in Milan I found a magazine with Amare on the cover. Just about everything else is fashion and futbol."
While the Nets are moving on to Round 2 of their trade discussions with the Nuggets (CBSSports.com), Walsh defended Denver's accusations that he used back-channels to recruit Anthony (RealGM). "I don't think that's true," Walsh said. "My understanding is they don't want to deal with us because they don't think we have the players that fit their team."
Tickets are now available for the Knicks' open practice on October 10 (Ticketmaster.com).
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