Curry not expected to play in Knicks' opener, D'Antoni says

A year ago, Eddy Curry was the center of the New York Knicks' franchise, both literally and figuratively.

This season? Not even close.

New Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said he doesn't plan to play Curry in the team's season opener Wednesday against the Miami Heat, simply responding "no" when asked Tuesday if Curry would be part of his eight- or nine-man rotation.

Curry's minutes were limited in the preseason after he missed all of training camp because of a bacterial infection, and D'Antoni said he could have a hard time playing catch-up. D'Antoni also has not appeared confident with how Curry would fit in his high-tempo offense.

After playing in four of the seven Knicks preseason games (including one DNP/coach's decision), Curry was surprised by the news that he is not part of his coach's regular rotation.

"Definitely stunned, especially being that [D'Antoni] didn't tell me that," Curry said Tuesday. "I haven't talked to him. I'm here with him every day. All he has to do is tell me. I'm definitely stunned to hear that."

Last season, the 25-year-old Curry averaged 13.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. During the preseason, he averaged 4.3 points and 2.5 boards in nearly 14 minutes.

Curry thinks he can play in D'Antoni's system, which emphasizes quick shots and working the ball on the perimeter.

"I don't need [the ball] to go through me," Curry said. "I don't need it to be my team."

D'Antoni said minutes were earned during practice and the preseason, though he may make an exception for first-round draft pick Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari, who has a bad back, did not play in any of the team's preseason games, but D'Antoni may give him some minutes in Wednesday's opener.

Such a scenario was not lost on Curry.

"You can't help but to think about that, especially [since] I feel like I'm in pretty good shape," Curry said. "Hopefully I can contribute and, if not, I will cheer my team on and see what the Knicks' plan is."

Andrew Marchand is the managing editor of 1050 ESPN Radio in New York.