10-27-2003, 06:30 PM
Knicks release Knight, Carroll
NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks released center Travis Knight and guard Matt Carroll on Monday as they reduced their active roster to 12 players.
New York also placed forward Antonio McDyess (left knee), forward Maciej Lampe (shin splints) and center Slavko Vranes (right knee) on the injured list.
Knight has been with the Knicks the past three seasons, averaging 1.5 points and 1.7 rebounds in 126 games.
Carroll averaged 6.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in eight preseason games.
10-27-2003, 06:49 PM
If the assessments below regarding Mutombo are accurate, the talk of the Mavericks' signing Sabonis will be all the more infuriating.
By MARC BERMAN
October 27, 2003 -- Nobody believes.
Nobody believes the Knicks are a playoff team - league executives, preseason publications. Nobody believes Antonio McDyess will make it back or be the player he once was. Nobody believes Dikembe Mutombo will be the old, shot-blocking menace of the '90s.
Nobody believes Keith Van Horn, despite his preseason's beastly board work, will overcome the Garden boos.
Nobody believes in these Knicks, except management. Otherwise, owner James Dolan would never have signed off on Mutombo, unless he judged his presence as the difference between a third straight lottery trip and the eighth seed.
And Mutombo, who costs the Knicks $17 million, luxury-tax included, across the next two years, understands.
"There's a pressure on us to get back to the playoffs," Mutombo told The Post. "There's pressure because of the changes [management] made, the direction they took. It's up to us to make sure we're in the hunt. If we can be mentally consistent, we have a great chance to get in there."
They could have the biggest frontline in the league if it all works out - Mutombo, McDyess and Van Horn. But since Dave Checketts left, nothing has worked out right for Dolan's Knicks.
POINT GUARDChaney claims the Knicks still need an elite point guard. Charlie Ward was hotly sought because of his $2 million contract buyout, but his preseason play easily earned him the nod as starter. The longest-tenured Knick still doesn't thrill, but if he's making his open 3-pointers and playing his usual hustling defense, he's not a liability.
SHOOTING GUARDWhen The Post reported in late August a rehabbing Houston may not be ready for training camp, Knick brass pooh-poohed the story. When camp opened with Houston sidelined, Layden scoffed, "It's not an issue." It's an issue now, Scottie. Don't expect a still-in-pain Houston to come close to duplicating last season's masterpiece.
SMALL FORWARDKnick fans just didn't get the trade. This wasn't about exchanging Latrell Sprewell's resume for Van Horn's resume. It was about getting five inches taller and five years younger at small forward. During preseason, Van Horn rebounded like a menace and drove for dunks that Sprewell, 33, only dreams about now.
POWER FORWARDTwenty-five pounds lighter, Kurt Thomas slides over to his natural position after playing the past two seasons at center. The only thing left for Thomas to accomplish is staying away from foul trouble and the referees' bad side.
CENTERAfter two days of Nets' camp, one Jersey confidant said, "Deke looks in tremendous shape. Last year during camp, he looked done." The Knicks hope Mutombo has at least one more solid year left. His presence will lift team from dead-last ranking in rebounds and blocks.
BENCHThis is where McDyess likely will make his Knick debut. When he makes his debut, in November, it's impossible to expect him to play starter's minutes. A more rugged Michael Doleac had a nice camp and will see backup pivot minutes. Clarence Weatherspoon, for now, is the backup power forward but could be out of rotation upon Dice's return.
Shandon Anderson was erratic. Chaney plans to use both Frank Williams and Howard Eisley, with the latter seeing time at shooting guard. Rookie Mike Sweetney didn't do enough things better than Spoon to make the rotation and Maciej Lampe conducted more international interviews than made shots.
COACHChaney has contract security, the respect of his players who won't quit on him, but does he have a firm plan, especially defensively late in games?
PREDICTIONIf Mutombo and McDyess pan out, they could challenge for home-court edge in the first round. But we know better. There are too many ifs. The Knicks are destined for a terrible start and will fall just short of the eighth seed, lottery-bound again. Record: 40-42.
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