Quickie Summer League Final Notes

It’s almost time to head to the airport so that I can catch that non-stop to the East Coast.  After watching most of John Wall’s 31 point performance last night, I was tempted to change my flight to see him go up against Toney Douglas, but unless the airlines offers me a voucher to give up my seat and a direct flight home, I’m outta here.  At least I’m outta here after enjoying another summer of too much basketball.

Regarding the Knicks’ performance, a victory against the Pistons, there is not much to add.  The Knicks did look a lot better than the previous game.  The guards had the Knicks racing up and down the court and Jerome Jordan’s offensive performance under the basket was improved as he scored 11 points in the 1st half.  Jordan ended the game with 16 points and 7 boards but he used all ten of his fouls.  He needed too too as Detroit’s center Greg Monroe abused the Knicks abused the Knicks for 27 points.

Landry Fields continued to show his versatility as he accumulated 15 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists.  Absolutely nothing to add here except to reiterate that the strength of his game is hustle and aggression. He is constantly moving and has a magnetic attraction to the ball.

Andy Rautins performed better on both ends.  He scored nine points on 4 for 9 shooting but at least two of those were layups off of drives, which in the sense that he sot other than three pointers and moved towards the basket with the ball was great.  Rautins even seemed a bit quicker and less tentative overall.

The speed of the game was clearly more suited to Bill Walker who scored 19 points, but he still has problems as a defender.  He accumulated six fouls in his 35 minutes.  I’ll need to pay more attention to why he is so foul prone/?  I recognize he defends a lot with his hands, but with that much speed he should not be having so much trouble.  I’m betting it is a fixable problem with training and better concentration on the defensive end.  What do you think? 

I like watching Toney Douglas and Fields run the floor together although I must pay a bit more attention to Toney’s decision making on the break with guys on the wing.  His favorite pass of choice seems to be to kick out the longer pass to the set-up man on the corner instead of completing the drive or bounce passing through a defender to the trailer.  Douglas’ stats were very underwhelming — 5 points on 2 for 10 shooting, 2 assists — but he did a great job of running the team.

Leo Lyons scored 11 points in 12 minutes mostly in the second half when my attention had waned, so I did not focus on his game, especially since he is very unlikely to make the team.

A much better performance, but odds are that once D’Antoni settles on a rotation (will it be 9 or 10) most of these guys will be bench warmers at best.  My feeling is that Douglas, Fields and Walker should be at least moderate contributors throughout the season. 

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What did you folks think about Al Harrington’s critical comments about how D’Antoni treated him.  During the year, most of the other bloggers and commenters went out of their way to ignore D’Antoni’s communication issues and to blame players like Nate Robinson and Larry Hughes for the piss poor performances.  Al Harrington was a relatively good soldier while he was here, not complaining about D’Antoni’s actions although hinting that vets needed to be respected and spoken to as opposed to simply expected to suffer decisions without being communicated with.

Harrington’s comments point out another issue that few outside of this blog want to grapple with — the apparent disconnect between Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni.  Walsh, in his quest for cap space, has been bringing in players over the past two years who received only cursory attention from D’Antoni despite the team’s play.  Harrington did receive significant minutes at one point but inexplicably fell out of favor although he was actually the teams most dynamic inside offensive presence. Undoubtedly a black hole, but nearly unstoppable from just outside the paint with a quick and long first step and an assortment of spins to the basket. 

So what do you think that was about?

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Ok. I’m outta here.  I’ll try to get the pics up this weekend.  LOL.  Now, I’m trying to be a photographer too.  That makes me laugh for a variety of reasons, but I might have some decent pictures to go with the blurry ones and the ones of buttocks moving past my lens at just the wrong moment.

Later folks.