Knicks Fanatics

The Ultimate In Knicks Fandom and Fellowship

Las Vegas Summer League Diary Day 2, Part 1: Fan Watching Better Than Watching Knicks Lose

As I sat directly across from Clyde Frazier, almost  immediately behind the scorer’s table on the other side of the court, slightly above his hairline level,  I struggled to keep my interest in the Knicks’ 96-73 loss to the Detroit Pistons squad.   Although Jordan Hill showed a little bit better than the day before and Toney Douglas continued to dish double digit assists, the game-long parade of well-endowed beauties bouncing in and out of the stands and  down the walkway in front of me was far, far more attractive.    Likewise,  my conversation with Warren Carter’s girlfriend, while she cheered him on as he defended the paint with Hill, was far more engaging than the game itself.

Ironically, Warren Carter played better in his 15:29 minutes, scoring 7 points on 3-5 shooting, pulling down 5 boards and handing out 2 assists than his teammates with guaranteed contracts or more likely to make the 15-man roster already overloaded with forwards.  Carter’s attractive girlfriend, who shall remain nameless here, cheered loudly enough (as he finally took a shot and showed some range) that a small Illinois contingent gathered around me and reminisced about the recently departed Illini heyday. They discussed how they were certain that some GM would be smart enough to see how good Carter is.  After she talked about how her boyfriend had gained celebrity in Europe playing in the Spanish ACB League and with Russian champions, Ms. Nameless tossed out a wide smile as I told her Carter was more active than Hill had been.

With her small town sincerity (this was the Illinois grad’s first time in Vegas), when I asked her did Carter enjoy this opportunity and what he intended to do if he did not make the team, she said he was thrilled but as far as he is concerned, “It is in God’s hands.”

God’s Hands.  From what I could see up close yesterday, Knicks fans would be happy to have the ball in God’s hands when it’s time to shoot.   Shooting wise the Knicks guards stunk up the joint.  Sure-shot Almond went 4-11 overall.  Toney Douglas (1 for 6), who continues to run the team well and knows how to get the ball to the open man, seems to need a GPS when it comes to his shot, particularly as he approaches the rim. He keeps running into a brick wall.  Blake Ahearn, who has nice speed and a decent statistical game went 2-8.  Second year shooting guard, Alex Acker did himself no favors by going 0-7.

Hill’s offensive game was better today as he demonstrated his mid-range shot. Still his footwork and concentration leave a bit to be desired.  He had six fouls to go with his 14 points on 6-14 shooting.  A blogger, who was also an Arizona grad, made me feel a little better about Hill.  After he confirmed that Hill had a tendency to play in a fog at Arizona, he reminded me that Hill did not really start playing ball until about five years ago and that when he is concentrating he is very tenacious and strong.  His physicality when put to use is awesome, but he certainly needs some big man camp and maybe a hypnotist to help with that attention span which fails him once too often with guards in the paint right under his stationary nose.

The brightest spots for the Knicks, other than Carter, included Joe Crawford who had 10 points but, more significantly, knows how to score around big men in the paint.  He is spectacular with the reverse lay ups and has great hops.  Nikolz Tskitshvili appeared to cool off but he shot 50% from the arc.  Mr. T is a good big body that can play the D’Antoni way with energy and a shot that would cause match-up problems for teams with centers that can’t/won’t defend the perimeter.  (Hint, Hint: Cleveland).

Also notable were the cheers for local favorite Wink Adams who entered the game at the end of the first quarter only to draw two fouls as he tried to guard an elusive Sean Singletary.  He only had one shot attempt, but it is certainly harder to get a shot off when you’re not on the court that much.

Detroit on the other hand, had a solid performance led by the play of Austin Daye with 27 points and 13 rebounds.   The Knicks’ next game is against Kings on Friday.  In that game watch the play of Omri Casspi, Tyreke Evans and Jason Thompson.  Yesterday, they were spanked by a hungry NBA D-League Select team 105-89, but they have a few (>3) interesting pieces that will definitely be on their squad next season.

___________________________________________________

I don’t know why anyone who reads the entire blog post would want to read my tweets, but if you want an abridged version of the Diary notes, check out LINYLNJ on Twitter.  Or Just read the tweets on the second sidebar.  Every once in a while they’re funny.

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July 16, 2009 - Posted by | Clyde Frazier, Jordan Hill, Morris Almond, NBA Summer League, New York Knicks, Toney Douglas | , , , , , , ,

10 Comments »

  1. Fanatics,
    What is Plan B?

    Thursday, July 16, 2009
    NBA Insider
    Signing shorter contract has backfired on LeBron James
    Vincent Goodwill / The Detroit News

    When LeBron James agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers three summers ago, his mind was on 2010.

    Most observers deemed it a shrewd move. It was supposedly symbolic of the business-conscious NBA player. They read the fine print of the collective bargaining agreement, which stated players with seven years’ experience could sign for 30 percent of the cap, compared to 25 percent being the maximum for six years experience or less.
    James signed first, then Miami’s Dwyane Wade and Toronto’s Chris Bosh followed.

    Signing stars to shorter contracts allowed teams to build contenders around their cornerstone, while giving players like James and Wade the flexibility to test the free-agent market while still in their prime. Teams like the Knicks could position themselves to make a run at two top-tier free agents, vaulting to an instant contender.

    The carefully constructed plan seemed to be working to perfection. Danny Ferry of the Cavaliers and Pat Riley of the Heat were always on high alert, with July 1, 2010 being around the corner. Then the economic levees broke and now James and Wade have backed themselves into a corner.

    How did that happen? When the salary cap figures for next season were released last week, it did more than pique the curiosity for 2010’s free agent class. Sure, the cap only went down by $1 million, to $57.7 million, but the league forecasts up to an $8 million drop in 2010-11.

    Now what?

    “Watch those guys start re-signing,” a GM said in the last month.
    That’s why Riley and Wade have been posturing the past two weeks. By all accounts, they have a great relationship but Riley doesn’t want to appear as if he’s asleep at the wheel and Wade is trying to tilt public perception.
    “There can’t be any major franchise changes made without his commitment,” Riley said.

    A few million dollars might not mean much to James. There’s the rumored kicker in his Nike contract, which could double if he plays in a major market like New York, Chicago or L.A., but his contract expires after next season, anyway. Besides, with James’ image taking a hit in the past two months, bolting to New York would seem like a step back if he wanted to play for a contender.
    Don’t be shocked if James re-signs this summer or chooses not to opt out next summer. The latter could be dangerous as well, since no one knows what the new collective bargaining agreement will look like in 2011.

    It also makes teams who chose not to wait until 2010 to spend look like geniuses. Sometimes the best laid plans go awry.

    Wary buyers

    One hot name still floating around the rumor mill is Utah’s Carlos Boozer . Utah’s goal is to retain Paul Millsap , who signed an offer sheet with Portland which Utah is expected to match soon. It’s why Boozer has been linked to Chicago, Miami, Golden State and Detroit.
    Teams are wary of how Boozer took advantage of Gordon Gund, former owner of the Cavaliers, in 2005. He convinced the Cavaliers not to exercise a team option, making him a free agent. Allegedly there was a handshake deal between Gund and Boozer that Boozer would re-sign, but Boozer didn’t and went to Utah.
    Gund was held in high regard and no one wants to be fooled again by Boozer

    Peace & Blessings

    Comment by Statesman2 | July 16, 2009 | Reply

    • S2,

      I’ve always thought this “2010 plan” was Walsh’s way of buying time.As we saw with Kidd and Hill,most players really don’t want to up-root their families to come to NY.We may have a shot at the 2nd tear FA’s(Johnson,Dirk,Amare)but forget LBJ,Wade and Bosh.I think we should start building now.The Knicks will not be the only team with cap space next year.

      Comment by D L T Knicks | July 16, 2009 | Reply

  2. Knick summer league play is not the same without Balkman and N8 causing havoc. Staying somewhat optimistic, Knicks dismal performance, including the two heralded rookies, Hill and Douglas, may be attributed to the experience of playing the 2nd game in a back-to-back scenario employing D’Antoni’s up=tempo/no-D style. They looked sluggish on both backboards, did not cover on D for each other, and could not score for long stretches.

    Douglas has a decent enough handle to back-up Duhon at the point and would have had more assists, if there were better shooters on the team. His own shot was not there in two consecutive games, which is surprising since he averaged 19 p/g in a solid college conference and was projected to be more of a 2 than a 1. He needs to penetrate more to the hoop and put it up rather than dish off to a crew that throws bricks.

    Hill must get in better shape and add muscle. He has skills and tenacity but he will have a tough time against big centers and power forwards next year. I concur with Lives that Warren Carter, with less minutes, has looked as good if not better than Hill in two games. Perhaps Herb Williams can teach Hill a few things when he gets to training camp.

    The play of Mo Almond perhaps offers the most “Joy” for the forthcoming season. With a pure shot he should make the team as a 2 guard in D’Antoni’s system.

    Joe Dumars drafted two nice studs in Austin Daye and DaJuan Summers; both showed impressive skills and high energy, albeit against a tired, pitiful opposition.
    Nevertheless, Dumars is rebuilding Detroit. Finding Summers so late in the 2nd round is a tribute to a good scouting effort (Zeke?). Getting Ben Gordon in the FA
    draft will certainly add to the makeover.

    As for the Knicks, we can only hope that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

    Comment by Post-up Prince | July 16, 2009 | Reply

    • As for the Knicks, we can only hope that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

      LOL! Perfect line.

      Comment by livesinnewjersey | July 16, 2009 | Reply

  3. Good AM Fanatics! LIVES, I understand your struggle and your joy as you sit on the sidelines and watch BBALL and the Bangin Beavers situated every and anywhere in the gym. A Hoopster’s Dream!!!!!!! Enjoy while you can my dear Brudder… With one or two suggestions it could get much better…That’s an offline convo…LOL LOL

    Back to BBALL! Douglas is the real deal, and although he will have to adjust to the speed of the game and the physical nature of the Pro game, he will adjust and he will prosper. He’s never been a great shooter, but a deft scorer. He will also figure that aspect of his game out as he adjusts and gets his feel for the game and game situations. Hill is a project and I do understand why people like him due to his athletic ability. Hopefully, he gets close to the Rooster and hangs with him, because he defintely needs to improve his work ethic and enthusiasm for the game. Hanging out with Curry or Darko might be detrimental…LOL LOL If we keep Lee, he’ll help him and reve up his motor a bit as well…

    LIVES, the Wife put her foot down and made it very clear that if I go to Vegas, it will be at my own risk, especially since she can’t go while entertaining Familia, but she won’t stand in my way. That’s a set-up and I am NOBODYS fool! Crazy, yes, stupid never…LIVES, I hope you are taking in all of the sights, cause there’s a whole to see in Vegas…LOL

    Have a great Day fellas! One Love!

    Keep it CRACKIN!

    Comment by Cooleyhigh | July 16, 2009 | Reply

  4. Brudder,

    I was just complimenting my wife for encouraging me to go even with so much around the house to do (Alpha Dawg Jr, sucessfully had minor surgery to remove water from his ear and put in the tubes — maybe now he’ll hear me when I say sit down. LOL). I wouldn’t be here without her blessings, so I’m with you my man. Priorities as they are set by the maternal (as opposed to Eternal or infernal) Master Planner.

    I don’t think I’ll check out the games today. The Knicks aren’t playing until tomorrow and I got the good word on Brandon Jennings Live yesterday. (Watch out IGM and States). I think I’m giving my nephew a birthday treat today and re-energizing for the last three games.

    But you and Prince hit it dead on. It is a strong possibility that Walsh can really look good in a couple of years because of this draft. If Jordan Hill goes in the right direction and learns to play for at least 25 minutes, I cna imagine him and Chandler being terrors, with Douglas making the nice dishes. Even a stiff Gallinari standing on the golden arches might be useful. Uh Oh, am I going to have to change my tune on the Walsh regime. . . Aaaah, I got a couple of years.

    Comment by livesinnewjersey | July 16, 2009 | Reply

  5. Agree with Postup..Almond will bring a little joy
    to what looks like another year in hell!

    @ STEADY, check this bro…an UNRELEASE Michael Jackson
    song called “Take me to a place where no one goes”
    It’s haunting but I’m sure it will sell it’s azz off:

    Comment by Peaceman | July 16, 2009 | Reply

  6. So nice I’ll post it twice, I can’t wait till they release
    the full cut! It’s like Michael is talking to us Kncks fans!

    Comment by Peaceman | July 16, 2009 | Reply

  7. Fanatics,

    I am not sipping the MSG/Newsday soup, so I must come clean. This Knick team after all of the trades, and Free-agent signings from last year is DE-VOID of talent. You can talk about the Ifs, and wishes, but based on the team as currently constructed, they are one of the least talented teams in the league. In fact after all of the moves the top 3-players are Lee, Chandler & N8, Isiah’s 3- guys. Guys Lee may not be an allstar, but he does go after the rock. If he’s not grabbing the boards, who will, Harrington?

    It can be argued that the Net & Clippers have improved their teams more in the last 2-years through drafts and trades. Rank the players and rosters. This will be a long-year. If Walsh’s business plan was 2010, then it has backfired. While other teams continued to get better the Knicks have less talent. There is still talent available and this is what remains. Notice the Knicks are in on another Euro–(Kleinza).

    Yet there are still plenty of notable free agents looking for a job next season. Here’s a partial list:

    * Marquis Daniels, guard, unrestricted free agent. Scored a career-high 13.6 points per game last season for Indiana. Teams interested: Dallas, Houston, Indiana. The latest: The Pacers didn’t pick up Daniels’ $7.4 million team option, but the Indianapolis Star reports he could re-sign with the team at a lower salary.

    * Carlos Delfino, guard. Restricted free agent. Teams interested: Toronto. The latest: The Raptors’ offered Pacers guard Jarrett Jack a four-year, $20 million deal after acquiring free agent forward Hedo Turkoglu. The Pacers have until Monday to match that offer, and the National Post says the Raptors will wait to see if that deal clears before deciding what to do with Delfino.

    * Glen Davis, forward, restricted free agent. Made a big jump from the Celtics’ bench to a starter in the playoffs. Teams interested: Boston, Cleveland, Charlotte, Detroit, Denver, New Orleans. The latest: With many teams interested in Davis, the Boston Globe reports he will seek big offers to challenge Boston to match it, which might be tough because the Celtics are over the luxury tax and recently signed Rasheed Wallace to a three-year, $18 million deal.

    * Raymond Felton, guard, restricted free agent. Teams interested: Charlotte, Philadelphia. The latest: Felton is seeking a long-term deal and the Charlotte Observer reports that returning to the Bobcats is his first choice. But a meeting with his agent and general manager Rod Higgins reportedly didn’t go so well.

    * Drew Gooden, forward, unrestricted free agent. Teams interested: Detroit, San Antonio. The latest: Dime Magazine suggests the Spurs’ signing of Antonio McDyess means Gooden won’t be back with San Antonio.

    * Linas Kleiza, forward, restricted free agent. A dangerous streak shooter. Teams interested: Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, New York, Toronto. The latest: Nuggets Coach George Karl told the Denver Post he wants to keep Kleiza, but isn’t sure if that’s possible.

    * David Lee, forward, restricted free agent. Teams interested: New York, Portland, Oklahoma City. The latest: Knicks President Donnie Walsh told the New York Daily News that he won’t extend negotiations with Lee past this week. Lee has reportedly been asking for at least $10 million a year.

    * Stephon Marbury, guard, unrestricted. High-priced malcontent cut loose by Knicks last winter, then joined Celtics. Teams interested. None. The latest: Marbury told the New York Post he’s in talks with three European teams.

    * Andre Miller, guard, unrestricted. Teams interested: Indiana, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Portland. The latest: Miller wanted a three-year, $30-million contract, but won’t get that. Numerous reports say Miller has been seeking sign-and-trade deals with the aforementioned teams.

    * Nate Robinson, guard, restricted. Teams interested: New York, Sacramento. The latest: Newsday reports that Olympiakos, a Greek team, offered Robinson a two-year, $10-million deal. Talks between the Knicks and Robinson’s agent are expected to resume Friday.

    * Ramon Sessions, guard, unrestricted. Teams interested: Charlotte, Chicago Bulls, Miami, Milwaukee, Memphis. The latest: Hoopsworld reports that the Bucks are fielding sign-and-trade offers for Sessions.

    * Tim Thomas, forward, unrestricted. Teams interested: None. The Bulls waived him and bought out his $6.4 million contract Tuesday. His future remains uncertain.

    * Ben Wallace, forward, unrestricted. The latest: Detroit News reports he’s likely to return to the Pistons. Wallace accepted a $10-million buyout from Phoenix on Tuesday and is reportedly seeking a one-year deal before retiring at age 35.

    * Marvin Williams, forward, restricted. The latest: Hoopsworld says Williams is close to signing a multi-year deal with Atlanta; Williams was seeking $40 million, while the club offered $37.5 million. He hasn’t received any rival offers, ESPN.com reports, because teams think Atlanta will match it.

    Peace & Blessings

    Comment by Statesman2 | July 16, 2009 | Reply

  8. Statesman:

    Good, informative post. The remainder of July should be very interesting with FA signings, signs & trades and lots of rumors. I assume Walsh is quite busy making and fielding calls to agents and NBA GM’s. He has no choice because he currently has no team in place for next season.

    Comment by Post-up Prince | July 17, 2009 | Reply


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