Barkley: Billups Wasn't Suited to Knicks System | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / February 8.
  • Barkley: Billups Wasn’t Suited to Knicks System

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    While some are lamenting the Knicks’ loss of Chauncey Billups, Charles Barkley isn’t one of them.

    Barkley says Billups simply wasn’t the right fit for Mike D’Antoni’s speedball offense.

    “Mike D’Antoni’s got a great system,” Barkley said Thursday on a TNT conference call.

    “Every point guard can’t run that system. I didn’t think Chauncey Billups could run that system at this age. He doesn’t play that fast anyway. Now he’s gotten older. I didn’t think he could run Mike D’Antoni’s system.”

    The Knicks amnestied Billups in order to free up cap space for Tyson Chandler. Billups then landed with the Los Angeles Clippers, who turned around and traded for Chris Paul. That, in turn, might shift Billups to the shooting guard spot.

    Now, the point guard and shooting situations with the Knicks are in flux. Toney Douglas and Landry Fields form the starting backcourt, but questions remain about whether Douglas can handle the assignment full-time.

    The Knicks missed out on shooters Shawne Williams (Nets) and Jamal Crawford (Blazers), but Barkley says rebounding and defense will be more important to the Knicks than shooting.

    “To me rebounding, defense and that point guard situation is a lot more important than them having a shooting guard,” Barkley said. “Anybody is going to shoot in that system.”

    He added: “The Knicks are going to better with Tyson Chandler, I’m a big Tyson Chandler fan.

    “But they got a couple issues. Are those other guys going to 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 or Tyson Chandler is going to be in foul trouble all the time.”



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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.