Thursday, December 15, 2011
Barkley: Knicks have 'a couple issues'
Charles Barkley loves the addition of Tyson Chandler, but he has two warnings for the Knicks this season: One, you better back up your center on the boards and with defense; and two, make sure your point guard plays within Mike D'Antoni's run-and-gun system.
The Chuckster made those comments on Thursday afternoon, during the NBA on TNT's first-ever webcast and media conference call, featuring the studio show's newest member, Shaquille O'Neal, and their regular crew of Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson. The Knicks lost out in acquiring Jamal Crawford and Shawne Williams, but Barkley said that a shooter shouldn't be their focus in free agency.
"The Knicks are going to be better with Tyson Chandler. I'm a big Tyson Chandler fan," he said. "But they've got a couple issues. If those other guys don't play defense -- I know Tyson Chandler is going to play defense and rebound the ball -- but those other guys gotta play defense and rebound the ball. Tyson Chandler's going to be in foul trouble all the time. To me, Mike D'Antoni's got a great system, but every point guard can't run that system. I didn't think Chauncey Billups could run that system at his age. He doesn't play that fast anyway. To me, rebounding, defense and their point guard situation is a lot more important than them having a shooting guard. Anybody is going to shoot in that system."
Free-agency update: Now that Crawford and Williams are off the table, the Knicks are zeroing in on defensive specialist Maurice Evans, who had a career-high in points last season (9.7 ppg) and shot 34.6 percent from downtown (one per game).