Evening, mermen and mermaids. The Knicks pulled to 2-2 in Summer League with a win over the Detroit Pistons. This year's 7th pick, Greg Monroe, was beastly against a Knicks' front line stocked with second-rounders, but the Knicks used a balanced, fast-paced attack to grab the convincing victory.
As usual, take the jump for individual reports and some other frivolous nonsense.
Toney Douglas had another quiet game offensively (2-10, 5 points, 3 assists), but did a nice job pestering Edgar Sosa and A.J. Slaughter. Toney's tendency to gamble and overplay got him in trouble a few times, but it also won him 3 steals and plenty of other disruption in the backcourt. Douglas, overall, has been a little off on his shot since the first game, but has been a steady floor presence, a vocal leader, and a catalyst on both ends of the floor.
Bill Walker had perhaps his best game thus far in Summer League, attacking from the get-go with a soaring baseline dunk to open the game. Walker had his lapses, including a few forced threes (3-7 for the game) and some missed defensive assignments, but was generally much more active and effective than in previous outings. Perhaps the best number on Bully's line is the 5 assists he put up. Once Walker dribbled into the paint, he didn't force shots or fish for contact as much as he did in earlier games. Instead, Bill waited until the defense collapsed, then found a cutter (often Landry Fields or Jerome Jordan) sneaking toward the rim on the baseline.
Landry Fields, for the third game in a row, looked excellent off the bench. He showed all the activity and scrappiness we've come to expect, with even more of the versatility. Fields continued to bring the ball up confidently and start the offense on occasions, and even matched up with Terrico White on some defensive possessions. Fields also stroked a catch-and-shoot three early on, blocked a shot in the post, finished off a spin move on the right side of the basket (he much prefers to go right it seems), and hit a few cutters in the halfcourt set for easy looks at the rim. As I've been saying, Fields isn't an expert at any one skill, but he's smart and athletic enough to contribute in pretty much every aspect.
Jerome Jordan, as has been mentioned, is going to have some trouble staying on the court in the pros (he used all of his 10 fouls in just 21 minutes), but he did show some of what he has to offer once he develops more body control. Jordan's timing looked much crisper on the pick-and-roll, and he worked well with the guards to catch some easy point-blank looks. Jordan has a bit of a tendency to fade on his shot, but showed a relatively soft touch a few steps from the basket and also looked confident at the free throw line (6-8). Make no mistake, Jerome Jordan is raw and a bit too spastic at this point, but I'm actually pretty excited about his long-term prospects as a pro. Give him time.
Andy Rautins finally attempted some two-pointers! Rautins had two nice transition finishes, including a pretty legit open-court dunk. The rook also stayed feisty on defense, aiding in Toney's backcourt attack, but also moving his feet and fighting over screens to deter ball-handlers and draw a charge or two. Rautins has shown this week that he's tougher than your typical three-point gunner. (He's also shot 6-22 from downtown, but let's not nitpick.)
- The courtside seats here look like chairs, but they're all connected, so it's really one big bench. This fact came to light when Bill Walker dove into the crowd for a loose ball and took out every single chair and every fan sitting in a chair in one fell swoop.
- Walker also made a bit of a commotion when he dunked on DaJuan Summers, then proceeded to hang on the rim and teabag Summers for a little longer than was necessary. DaJuan was understandably displeased, and I was a little surprised they didn't get to shovin'. Had a fight broken out, I would've jumped the press table and started throwing haymakers.
- In a similar vein, Toney Douglas managed to topple the same baseline cameraman three separate times. I will now start kicking random cameramen, since that's what Toney Douglas do.
- Dan D'Antoni went with an all-bench lineup to end the first and third quarters, which meant we finally got our fist look at Charles Garcia. Unfortunately, Garcia didn't get too many touches, and I have pretty much nothing to report on his performance.
I'm headed home from Vegas early tomorrow morning, so that'll be pretty much it from me. Charlie and/or Gian will take care of the thread and recap tomorrow, and I'll be back at it Sunday. Thanks to everybody who's been reading, commenting, posting, and keeping me company throughout the week. We are most definitely doing this gain next year. <3