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Randolph was no stranger to the Portland police blotter and was suspended by the Blazers for violations ranging from making an obscene gesture toward fans to punching out a teammate in practice. "I'll be no trouble," Randolph says of playing in New York. "I bought a place out in the suburbs. I'm staying out of the city."
If Randolph keeps his promise, he and center Eddy Curry will form arguably the top frontcourt tandem in the Eastern Conference. Congestion around the rim shouldn't be a problem as Curry lives in the paint and prefers to catch the ball on the right block; Randolph is an effective perimeter shooter who likes to set up on the left block. "Playing with Zach gives us a lot of options," says Curry. "He can play inside-out and score from anywhere. With him on board, I'm really excited about this season."
That's one emotion that has not been associated with the Knicks for a long time.
An opposing team's scout sizes up the Knicks
Is Eddy Curry or Zach Randolph the better low-post scorer? Randolph is probably superior because he's more versatile, while Curry will try to back you down and overpower you every time. The problem is that neither is excited about passing it out of there. . . . David Lee has developed his niche as a high-energy big man, but are they going to play him at small forward to get him on the court with Curry and Randolph? If so, you'll have three players who are very limited outside 15 feet. . . . When Stephon Marbury is playing well, he's not a point guard who distributes the ball; he needs to score. At his best last year, he was putting up numbers and they were winning more games. . . . Jamal Crawford's best is still ahead of him. He can shoot the three and also get to the rim, he has an excellent medium-range pull-up game, he's a good pick-and-roll player, and he makes big shots. . . . Quentin Richardson doesn't post up like he used to, but they need his three-point shooting because they won't get that from Lee or Renaldo Balkman.
David Lee averaged 10.1 rebounds in games in which he came off the bench last season. He's the first player to average double-digit boards as a reserve (minimum: 25 games) since Dennis Rodman did it in 1993-94.