Knicks Notes: Stoudemire, Playoffs, Starters

Knicks president Phil Jackson believes there will be more parity in the Eastern Conference this season, and that it will take 45-46 wins to make the playoffs, writes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. “I see it flattening out the Eastern Conference, dispersing the talent around a little bit because of the advent of [Kevin] Love, obviously, LeBron in Cleveland, changes the conference from having two teams that were below or around .500 to having probably all eight teams having to be above 45-46 wins to get into the playoffs,” Jackson said. “So it’s going to change how that goes.”

Here’s more out of New York:

  • Amar’e Stoudemire is entering what is most likely his final season in a Knicks uniform, and though he isn’t recovering from any injuries this summer, the team will still use caution when doling out his minutes, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com writes. Coach Derek Fisher said of Stoudemire, “Amar’e physically looks great. Looks like he’s in fantastic shape. He’s very focused on coming into this season healthy and I think he’s accomplished that goal. … His knees will be an issue at some point, just manage his minutes in some respects, how we’ll limit him in practice, give him some days to get back up to speed and get some rest. But I think he’s willing to come in and buy in to what we want to teach and he’s ready to go and he’s excited.”
  • Speaking on New York’s new roster, Jackson told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com, “This team has not got a personality. Over 35 percent of [the] team has changed. So we still have to kind of come together in a bonding way that creates trust, teamwork, identity, some things like that. It takes probably a month to six weeks for a team to kind of jell and the idea of how to do this together. So we have a month of training camp, a couple of weeks in November to kind of see how everything is blending together. And that can vary according to injuries.”
  • Heading into training camp the Knicks haven’t decided on a starting lineup yet, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “The only person I know for sure who is going to be starting is ‘7’,” Fisher said, referring to Carmelo Anthony. “We haven’t started training camp when you learn where your team is, how different players work together,” Fisher added. “Putting together a starting lineup is not just about individual guys. It’s the five guys who work well together as a unit. Those decisions can’t be made until we observe as a coaching staff. It will start to crystallize and formalize.

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