After bowing to Ty Lawson and the Nuggets, the Knicks of Summer made good in their second Vegas game, taking care of a Los Angeles Lakers squad short on big names. This one had some pace to it, and the Knicks turned plenty of backcourt steals and loose balls into easy fast break looks. Second-round pick Landy Fields led the Knicks with 17 points off the bench.
Take the jump for more detailed notes and some candy. I swear there's candy. You like candy, don't you?
Toney Douglas followed his big afternoon against the Nuggets with a quieter outing against the Lakers. Douglas looked to facilitate much more than score, including a greater number of successful pick-and-rolls than in yesterday's game. Douglas found Jerome Jordan rolling to the basket on several occasions, caught Bill Walker streaking baseline for some easy finishes (and one positively sublime alley-oop), and kicked out to Andy Rautins when his big men were checked. There were several times when Douglas passed up an open lane to the rim, but I think he had it in his head to create for others first today.
Defensively, Douglas had much more of an effect than he did against Denver. Ibrahim Jaaber is no Ty Lawson, and Toney pestered the diminutive Laker into several turnovers, igniting the fast break with picked pockets and poached passing lanes. Jaaber will have nightmares about what Toney Douglas do.
Landry Fields was undoubtedly the star of this one. Fields has a rare combination of athleticism and self-restraint, using his running and leaping abilities to his advantage without overextending himself. In a fast-paced game like today's, Landry's strengths were readily apparent. He ran the floor like a stallion, hung in the air to draw contact and finish, and scrambled like a madman for every airborne ball. Fields rarely tries to create his own looks, but showed a decent enough handle and some accuracy (if not the prettiest form) on his outside shot. Landry's all about the dirty work, though, and he managed to craft a hell of a stat line (17 points, 5 boards, 3 steals, 2 blocks) by simply making the most of his athletic abilities.
Bill Walker still looked a little sluggish, but didn't settle for the outside shot this time around. Walker benefited from Toney's propensity to share, but also created his own offense by driving from the elbows. Bully blasted his way into the paint, drew defenders, and either finished, got he foul, or found a cutter on each occasion. Still, in a high-energy game like this one, Walker's body language kinda stands out.
Andy Rautins continued to move his feet on defense and ran well on the break, but couldn't find the range (1-6) from downtown. Andy treats the area inside the arc like a lava pit, but passes and defends well enough to stay on the floor even when his shot isn't falling. I'm curious to see if Rautins can finish at the rim, particularly after some high-flying blocked shots in the last two games (all of which were called fouls, but it's the thought that counts.)
Jerome Jordan looked much better in his second outing. The giant Jamaican did a better job finding the ball in position to score, starting from the high post and rolling and cutting a little more crisply than in the previous game. Jordan also put his size to more use on defense, including one sequence in which he blocked or altered no less than three shot attempts. Still, Jordan will have trouble staying on the floor unless he learns to set a stationary pick and avoid maiming people on loose balls. They don't give you ten fouls in the pros.
With his dad in the crowd, Patrick Ewing Jr., finally got to spin, but didn't look his sharpest. Ewing held the rock too much on offense, dribbling himself into corners and forcing some contested shots.
If I tried to play in one of these games, I'd undoubtedly hurt myself. In this particular game, Eric Boateng would probably be the one to do the damage. All Eric does is hit things.
- Ryan "Whittman" Wittman's name was misspelled on his jersey, which probably doesn't bode well.
- Timofey Mozgov won't be in uniform any time soon, but I can assure you that the man is gigantic. Alan Hahn introduced me to the big fella, and our "handshake" was more like Mozgov palming my entire forearm in his right hand. Hahn told Herb Williams that he looked short next to Timofey, to which Herb replied "that's a good thing."
- Devin Ebanks needs more ankle support. I fear for his health.
That's all for now from Vegas. I'll slip my transcribin' shoes on later and share some quotes from the conversation I had with Landry Fields. Until then, do what Toney Douglas do.