Originally posted on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 8/23/12


During the NBA offseason, a variety of Knicks fans always seem to be curious about what members of the team are up to. What do players like to do in their downtime? Are they working out often and staying in shape? Do teammates keep in touch to maintain or build that chemistry as necessary to improve next season?

Of course, we know that Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler played together during the Olympics and helped the United States bring home the gold medal. Amar'e Stoudemire just completed a vigorous two-week training session in Houston with Hall of Famer Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon.

But what have some of the Knicks' role players been up to this summer?

Fans can rest assured that Steve Novak has been working hard as he looks to build upon the same success that helped him electrify the Garden on a nightly basis last season. A Milwaukee native, Novak returned to the Big Apple this week for "Dream Week" and spoke with KnicksNow.com's Jonah Ballow about his summer.

In addition to having spent time with his family and paying close attention to his Knicks teammates in the Olympics, Novak said he was relieved to have agreed upon on a new contract with New York so early in the offseason. Clearly that goes a long way in giving someone peace of mind.

Much of Novak's success last season came from playing alongside Jeremy Lin. As "Linsanity" exploded onto the NBA season, Knicks fans couldn't seem to get enough "Novakaine."

Lin was able to find Novak in the right spots again and again, allowing the forward to knock down a barrage of three-point field goals each and every game. He too, like Lin, became a bit of a household name as he made it rain from long range.

But with Lin now gone, it's crucial that Novak develops a similar understanding on the court with the team's new point guards if he wants to continue having success.

It seems like that forward couldn't agree more.

Novak told Ballow that he's taken the time out this week to begin working out with the Knicks' new starting point guard, Raymond Felton. It sounds as though he likes what he sees so far, too.

"I was working out the last three days with Raymond Felton," Novak said. "He looks great. He's shooting the ball well and looks like he's in great shape. We're just going to try to use that momentum to start the year strong."

With Landry Fields departing New York and Iman Shumpert expected to miss the first couple months of the season with a knee injury, it's possible J.R. Smith receives some starts at the shooting guard position. Should this happen, Novak will be all that more important as that first line of offense off the bench. It's imperative he comes in and provides the Knicks with a consistent boost.

There's no doubt that beginning to work out with the team's newest floor general will go a long way towards helping Novak insure the Knicks won't miss a beat next season when the reserves come in.
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