Hurricane Sandy has knocked out Monday's Knicks 11 a.m. practice in Tarrytown. Several Knicks, including Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas and Carmelo Anthony, live in Manhattan and had too many obstacles in getting to upper Westchester.
Sandy couldn't have come at a worse time for coach Mike Woodson, who viewed these last few days of practice as vital for their preparations with the season opener Thursday in Brooklyn vs. the Nets followed by Friday's home opener vs. the defending champion Miami Dream Team.
Rotation players J.R. Smith, Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace, Ronnie Brewer and Amar'e Stoudemire combined to play just four preseason games. Stoudemire is the lone player definitely out for the opener. In one sense, the day off could benefit Tyson Chandler (knee bone bruise) and Camby (calf strain).
However, Woodson viewed these final days as key to establishing oncourt chemistry and developing teamwork. Tuesday's practice could be in jeopardy, too, as projections are the hurricane growing worse.
Sunday, after the Knicks practiced at the Garden for the first time all preseason, Woodson said, "I was telling (the PR staff) to get cots because I still want to practice regardless. Some guys are closer to the facility. My concern is guys in the city making sure they give themselves enough time to get to (Tarrytown).’’
Kidd joked, “Coach said no matter what we’re having practice tomorrow, if you have to swim to get there, you have to get there,’’ said Kidd.
Carmelo Anthony was more realistic Sunday.
“I don’t take nothing for granted,’’ Melo said. “I’m scared of Sandy. Just hearing of New York having a hurricane, it doesn’t sound right. I’m not one to play with Mother Nature. I’m staying in. I’m not coming out.’’