Sunday, February 24, 2013
Coach's report: Martin excited to be back
By Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley
Kenyon Martin took his seat in the home locker room for the first time, with reporters gathering around, and he said he was "excited" to be back in the NBA.
As he looked around the room, he saw several former teammates from the Nets and Nuggets who are on his side again. One of them, Jason Kidd, was his running mate on Nets teams that went to the Finals in 2002 and '03 -- and the point guard's locker is right next to Martin's. By chance, Kenyon said.
"I've got a good relationship with a lot of guys, have played with a lot of guys -- some big games, some very important games with these guys," he said. "I think it will make the transition a little easier."
Mike Woodson said Martin may not play Sunday, and the power forward, who signed a 10-day contract Saturday, admitted he's not ready yet.
"I still have to learn a few more plays and stuff like that," he said.
Martin said one of his main goals is to bring energy to the court -- "That's who I am," he said -- and it's a personal success if he stays on the whole season. He was previously worried he wouldn't even be in the league this season.
"I went through every emotion dealing with it -- mad, sad, upset, confused," he said. "It just took me to get my mind away from it for the most part and not let it consume my daily thought like it was, because I want to play. I'm a competitor. It's tough to watch."
Now that he's with the Knicks, Martin believes they're for real.
"From top to bottom, we don't get no better," he said. "We have Amar'e (Stoudemire) coming off the bench now, which I think is huge. Not a lot of guys at his stature are coming off the bench."
WOODY BEING "STUBBORN" WITH STARTING FIVE? Prior to facing the 76ers, Woodson conceded that he might be a bit stubborn when it comes to his starting five. He's hinted at making a change during the Knicks' four-game skid, but ultimately has opted to stick with the same lineup: Raymond Felton, Kidd, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.
Those five will start again on Sunday, and Woodson wants to see a better "burst" out of them.
"Maybe I'm being a little stubborn with it, but we'll see as we continue to go down this road," he said. "We've just to get this first unit more anxious."
KIDD 'N SHOOT: Woodson said that Kidd has been passing up makeable shots. In his last 10 games, the 39-year-old guard is shooting just 22.5 percent from the floor and 20 percent of his 3-point attempts.
"When you go through struggles of not making shots, you tend to back away and not be so aggressive," Woodson said. "I told (Kidd) he made shots, big shots, for us early on and he's (been) capable of making big shots over his career. So I don't want him to stop."