Ahh, summer. The magical months in which the weather is lovely, the school is non-existent, and need for clothing and productivity disappears. And as always (or at least since a few years ago) we have Summer League basketball. An enchanting time in which young players, fringe NBA players, hasbeens, and wannabes get their chance to spin. This is the first SL game with our beloved Knicks, squaring off against the Summer version of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
SummerKnicks starters: Anthony Roberson, Mardy Collins, Wilson Chandler, Renaldo Balkman, Danilo Gallinari
Errbody else on the SummerKnicks: Dan Grunfeld, Antonio Graves. Marcus Hall, Delonte Holland , Brandon Hunter, Antoine Johnson, Paul Miller, Von Wafer, Anthony Roberson, Zhang Songtao
SummerCavs starters: JJ Hickson, Mike Green, Darnell Jackson, Romel Beck, Billy Thomas (you haven't heard of any of those people either right?)
Errbody else on the SummerCavs: Robert Traylor (!), Jawad Williams, Lance Allerd (deaf dude), Will Conroy, Dru Joyce, Yohann Sangare, Wayne Simien, Romeo Travis, Clay Tucker
- Our announcers today are Walt "Clyde" Frazier and Mike "I yell everything with exuberant enthusiasm" Crispino
- Clyde is rocking a hot pink polo (for Hot Vegas apparently) and Mike has a blue MSG polo (because he can't afford to buy his own clothes)
- In our first look at El Cock, he runs into a Cavalier handling the ball and immediately picks up a foul. I'm loving the Gallo Era thus far.
- The first points of the Knick theoretical season is a jumper by Anthony Roberson, congratulations Anthony.
- Soon afterwards, Gallinari blatantly moves on a screen and gets called for an offensive foul...oh dern.
- Hurray, Clyde said "Posting and Toasting"!
- Mardy has lost quite a bit of weight and has no hair, looks quite different from last season. Perhaps the combination of less weight and aero-dynamics of the no hair can help his speed out.
- Robert Traylor sighting! The tractor checked into the game as our announcers bring up both his on-court suckiness and off-court arrests. I wish him luck in his comeback.
- Gallinari looks mad raw: committing turnovers, traveling with the ball, making stupid fouls, but his overall defense isn't bad.
- Robert Traylor is 31...and playing fantastically...he's making Gallinari his bitch in the low-post
- Antonio Graves has a nice touch...kinda reminds me of a white guy on last years SL team....
- Brandon Hunter is a doughy, doughy man.
- Wilson Chandler is fantastic, he steals the ball, and throws down an MJ-esque one handed jam on the other end of the floor in one seamless motion; he is my very early nominee for SL MVP, he is tearing it up out there
- It's Renaldo's 24th birthday today. For this occasion, I got him a special cake
- Jamal is in the booth with Clyde, he seems to be growing out a goatee. He is excited about playing in a system like Phoenix's and happy about the change in coaching and management (aren't we all).
- Mardy Collins hit a jumper.....what the fuck?
- Renaldo's hustle is a beautiful thing to watch, absolutely spectacular
- JJ Hickson enjoys dunking a lot
- Let me make a makeshift chart of the key differences between the NBA and Summer League: NBA: LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, SL: Robert Traylor and Dan Grunfeld; NBA: Head coach has the main duties, SL: Assistant coach has the main duties; NBA: "Cha-cha slide" plays in the background, SL: "Cotton-eye Joe" plays in the background
- At the half: Knicks - 44, Cavs - 42
- Q is in the booth with Clyde and Mike now, he looks mad different now that he's shaved his head and lost weight
- Fun Story: Billy Thomas goes on a fast break with Danilo trailing him by at least two steps, goes up for a dunk, Gallinari puts his hand up but doesn't even touch Thomas or the ball, Thomas misses the dunk completely....Telekenetic Cock Block!
- QRich seems to really be the leader for the team, hopefully he can stay healthy this season and not lead the team from the floor on the sidelines whilst lying on his back
- Balkman is a blocking machine, he is a guy that can really fit in well in a D'Antoni system
- Gallinari hit a jumper, first points!
- Mardy's weight-loss had really helped out his speed, drives to the basket better, but still has the strength he used to have. Deadly combination
- Damn, Gallinari has some explosiveness. Somebody missed a three, and he just threw a thunderous tip-jam down
- I suppose I'll have to retort my previous statement. Hunter weighs 266, Crispino says it's "like rock" though, followed by Hunter airballing a free throw. Fun.
- Mardy assisting to Gallinari outside shooting = fantastic combination
- End of the third: Knicks: 69, Cavs: 68....down the wire SL game!!
- Gallo is unstoppable now, hits another jumper
- Game is very close as the fourth quarter comes to a close, the teams are essentially alternating baskets
- Knicks defense is tight and good intially when the Cavs take the ball, but the ballhandeler can beat one man and then they will score, hopefully it'll improve by the actual season
- Clay Tucker is apparantly becoming an apprentice for the occupation "Knick-killer", I think this guy may have a future in the league
- JJ Hickson is a beast, I doubted that he was should have been drafted has high as he was, but he is a hustling, bruising "skyscraper" as Q would say
- Anthony Roberson sort of reminds me of a young Tony Delk. PG skills a bit lacking, but a good pure scorer and not bad on defense for somebody of his size. Not sure if there's room for him considering Nate, but he wouldn't be a bad addition to the team.
- Mardy's weight loss has really had positive effects on his defense, has the quickness to keep up with his man more
- Stephon Marbury is in the house! They got a shot of his tattoo, it's on the side of his bald head and tis the Starbury logo.
- If Summer League was an accurate measurement of a player's future, Clay Tucker is a future hall-of-famer
- Stephon Marbury is entering the booth...oh entertainment is likely to ensue
- Steph is dropping Clydeisms right on Clyde...oh somebody needs to give him his own show
- Cavs are down by 4 with fifteen seconds to go and Clay Tucker hits a three...god damn it. The groupies are gonna crowd around him after the game. But considering everything in Summer League is a step down, I suppose this is what his groupies will look like:
- Five seconds to go, Cavs down by three, ball goes into the hands of Clay Tucker and......
- He misses! It's all over! We did it! Knicks are on our way! The D'Antoni/Walsh/Cock regime is off to a fantabulous start!
Wilson Chandler - 26 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks - Looked far more polished from last season, looking like a jack-of-all-trades kind of player
Mardy Collins - 17 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 8-9 free-throws - Is it April of 2007? What's going on? I'm glad his confidence is back, he did very well and both his offense and defense improved with his weight-loss. Nice to see him make his free throws.
Anthony Roberson - 22 points, 2 rebounds, 3-8 from downtown - A sparkplug kind of player. Good scorer, kind of weak elsewhere, but his defense is not bad at all.
Danilo Gallinari - 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists - Sucked in the first half, but got better as the game progressed. Shows good inside-out moves, and while his defense is raw, it has a lot of potential.
But all-in-all, good performances all around and good team defense. Nice to see our veterans there supporting our young players, and they all said the right things. Hurray.