Well, the Knicks may or may not outperform the division-rival Raptors this year, but their Summer League squad certainly doesn't match up. The Raptors' team, stacked with the likes of DeMar DeRozan, Sonny Weems, and Ed Davis, ran the Knicks out of the gym. As a unit, the Knicks were hard-pressed to stop a single pick-and-roll, and couldn't keep track of Raptors soaring in from the wings for athletic finishes. As we've said, though, this is about player assessment above all else. Take the jump for some individual reports and other notes:
Toney Douglas had himself a quiet 13 and 6. The Raptors proved to be a little sharper defensively than the Lakers were two nights ago, and Toney couldn't really find the window through which to thread passes off of screens. That said, Toney did provide some offense without camping out on the perimeter. He showed a few of his signature pull-up jumpers as well as a nice floater or two and some point-blank finishes in transition. Defensively, Toney did a solid job staying in front of Bobby Brown, save for a few gambles.
Andy Rautins still couldn't find the touch, shooting 1-4 from outside and passing up everything inside the arc. Rautins did his darnedest on the defensive end, but his lack of size stood out against the hyper-athletic DeRozan and Weems. Rautins appeared to hurt himself in the second half and didn't return, if I remember correctly.
Carlos Powell has a weird-ass release (from a distance, it looks like he shoots with only his left hand), but both of his three-point attempts. Down low, though, he had quite a bit of trouble handling Solomon Alabi and Joey Dorsey without fouling, which is understandable because they are gigantic human beings and he is Carlos Powell. Powell's probably a 3 if anything, but repeatedly found himself overwhelmed amongst the tall trees.
Jerome Jordan might foul out of a shoot-around at some point. Jordan really has more touch and footwork than you'd expect, but as I've said before, his sense of timing and position will need to improve for him to play meaningful NBA minutes.
Bill Walker had another eerily silent evening. He shot 1-8, couldn't get to the rim like he usually does, and didn't contribute much otherwise. Walker should really be dominating at this level, so his floundering is a bit worrisome. You can't shake my confidence in Bully, but...well, yeah. It's shook.
Patrick Ewing Jr. showed an odd propensity to fade on open jumpers (was that always the case?), but shot well (5-6) and worked more within the flow of the offense. This was definitely his best game so far this summer. I think it's worth mentioning that every time he attempted a shot, Sonny Weems and DeMar DeRozan screamed "HELL NO!" from the Toronto bench.
Marcus Landry got his most extended spin of Summer League, and looked pretty sharp. Landry (2-4) showed a nice touch from outside, and, to my eye, looked faster and nimbler than he did last year.
Landry Fields (who I couldn't get to deem himself the "Landrier" of the two Landrys. Seriously.) was once again the Knicks' star and light of my life. Landry's knack for drawing contact was in full effect, as he finished the night with 13 free throw attempts to his name. Thirteen! Besides his 10-13 from the line, Fields displayed a few athletic finishes at the rim and a little bit of midrange. The outside jumper showed up as well today, though Fields could use some more elevation to avoid front-rimming his longer shots.
What impressed me most offensively were a few possessions in which Fields got a rebound and brought the ball up himself. Fields isn't going to skip to anyone's Lou anytime soon, but he's got enough of a handle to keep his head up, push the offense, and find teammates running up the wings. Fields' most drool-worthy sequence of the night was one in which he D'd up a shooter, got the rebound off the miss, then turned around and drove coast-to-coast, weaving through traffic for an and-one finish.
Fields also did better than expected hounding DeMar DeRozan with the ball, getting a hand up and forcing DeRozan into fadeaways (which he hit, but whatever). Landry did lose DeRozan a few times off the ball, probably because he's got a bit of a propensity to ball-chase.
All together, Fields has been the one Knick creating a buzz at Summer League, and looks like a legitimate candidate for a spot in Mike D'Antoni's regular season rotation. We'll have more on him later.
Some other notes:
- I never really believed the "seeing your whole life flash before your eyes" thing until I saw Joey Dorsey chase a loose ball out of bounds in my general direction.
- Nobody else found it funny when the PA guy announced "Cheikh Samb checks in". Cheikh Samb humor, once again, proves too highbrow for NBA laymen.
- Seriously, though, Cheikh looked pretty sharp. As I look at the boxscore (1-4, 3 points, 1 rebound, 4 fouls), I realize that's going to be hard to back up, but I swear he did.
The Knicks are in action again on Friday, when they'll face a pretty talented Pistons squad. <3.