The SummerKnicks beat the SummerWizards! Here's what I saw:
- I'd say this was Toure Murry's day. With the Knicks down a couple men, Murry got to play plenty of point guard and looked pretty composed in that role. He crept around on defense for deflections and long rebounds, then did a splendid job running the break the other way. Though he moved well in the pick-and-roll and made a point of distributing out of those sets, his entry passes were a little limp at times. Quite a few soft lobs or telegraphed entries got batted away by Wizards. When Murry did look to score, he got a few pull-up jumpers to fall, drained at least one more long J off the catch, and created a couple handsome finishes near the rim (including one lovely righty floater). He seems reasonably comfortable driving with his left (off) hand, but not necessarily inclined to finish with it when given the opportunity. The roaming on defense I mentioned before made for the occasional lapse on a ball-handler, but Murry got over picks well enough when the opportunity arose. Seems like he's got some long arms, too. Mike Woodson apparently regards Murry as an early favorite for a camp invite, and that makes me happy. Through two games, he's registered as a competent, all-around guard.
- Jeremy Tyler, who also sounds like a camp possibility based on the above link, put on another wild, ravenous performance under the basket. That's definitely basket singular, because it didn't look to me like Tyler was interested in asserting himself under the Washington basket. On several occasions, he got outworked by the likes of Jan Vesely for boards off Wizard misses, which isn't recommended. But yeah, on the other end, Tyler did a whole lot of wrasslin' for offensive boards and bulled through thickets of arms for a bunch of put-backs. He fights, even if he's not always fighting for anything in particular (just ask Chris Singleton's face).
- Tim Hardaway Jr. looked sharp before bruising (but not breaking) his left wrist. As was the case in the first game, a couple shots went up at totally inappropriate moments-- over a pick and two defenders from 20 feet out, for instance-- and caught rim, but Hardaway had obviously been instructed to attack more and those instances went well. He turned some quick decisions in transition and nice first steps on the baseline into fouls and finishes, including one massive dunk (right after the injury occurred).
- By the way:
Tim Hardaway Jr. said he hopes to play tomorrow & not too concerned w/ the bruised wrist. #Knicks— Jonah Ballow (@jonahballow) July 14, 2013
- After kinda floating around in the first half, C.J. Leslie made more of an impression on the second half with some good footwork on defense (one marvelous flop) and the same grace away from the ball we saw previously (this time with a few finishes). He showed some genuine handle when pushed into bringing the ball up, but did not show much of a jump shot when pressed into pulling from outside*. Lots of unnecessary fading.
- *This comes with the caveat that C.J. Leslie has a knack for scoring when I'm looking down at my computer. He may have hit a jumper I didn't see.
- Terrence Jennings and Eloy Vargas took turns canning pick-and-pop jumpers (or, in Vargas's case, just a straight up J off the dribble on one occasion). Jennings, once again, did a bit of swatting under the basket and pulled down a ton of offensive rebounds. If you asked me to do big man rankings after two games, I'd go: 1. Jennings 2. Vargas 3. Tyler, but I guess it depends what the Knicks are looking for in a big man (or bag man, which is what I originally typed. Different thing).
- Speaking of big men, our old friend Jerome Jordan showed up! He looked like Jerome Jordan. Pretty smooth post moves without many actual buckets to speak of. Decent effort on defensive rotations and under the glass with a few noodly shot contests. Same ol' Jerome, as far as I could tell.
- I probably shouldn't comment on Justin Brownlee or Tony Mitchell because I mixed up their numbers for a decent chunk of the game. One or both of them played the best perimeter defense of any Knick out there today. Each had a nice and-one finish on the move.
- Chris Smith had four assists.
- J'Covan Brown seems like a capable little dude, but I don't think he's done much to warrant attention so far. Same goes for A.J. Matthews, but replace "little" with "big" and "capable" with "I have no idea how capable he actually is".
- Liam McMorrow remains massive and aggressive and pulled down five boards simply by virtue of being so massive-aggressive.
'Twas a fine game. The Knicks are back at it tomorrow afternoon against the Bobcats (who are playing as I write this. They're pretty good).