Lazy Summer Reaction: Grizzlies 93, Knicks 77
|James White, SF Well, James White certainly is an athlete. We got to see one example of his supreme-go-super-flight-kaboom explosiveness, but that imp of the perverse, Josh Selby (who Spiro Dedes repeatedly referred to as, “Shelby.”) grabbed his arm before more Youtube-ish highlights could ensue. He made more than a few nifty passes off dribble penetration, finishing with seven dimes (
|Chris Copeland, PF I’m not entirely sure what to make of this newb. He’s an effort player who battles for everything, definitely undersized to play power forward full-time, hit a couple of long-range shots but the overall impression is of wasted energy in service of nothing in particular — think a smaller, less lengthy Jordan Hill or a longer, far less interesting Renaldo Balkman, if that helps.
Oh. One more thing. Copeland’s dreads give him a kind of Britney Griner-ish sheen. I really, REALLY hope that Grunwald is pulling a Juwanna Mann. That would absolutely tickle me chartreuse.
|Artsiom Parakhouski, C Artsion is big. Artsiom’s size makes it hard for Artsiom to jump. Artsiom has a standard-brand Euro big’s dossier of crafy moves at the rim but doinked some of them because of the aforementioned problems with the Earth’s gravitational pull. Artsiom always tries hard and is popular with his classmates. Artsiom has to stop throwing things at Alisa Malinovich during 7th grade social studies. It’s not going to work and Artsiom has to realize she’s going to end up dating Dan Gabay anyway because he has made out with every single girl in class whose breasts developed early.|
|Walker Russell Jr., PG I actually had really high hopes for Walker, son of Walker and relative of former Knick Campy. He’s been on more than a few ‘Bocker Summer League squads way back when and had a nice stint with the Pistons (yes, in the actual NBA) last year. Alas, he looked royally out of control, forced awkward runners in the lane really struggled against Memphis when they pressured him in the backcourt, and coughed up some ungodly, unforced turnovers leading to an early 20+ point deficit. He looked like he was trying to impress someone, but as is oft the case, ended up doing more harm than good. Sad face. I like Walker Russell Jr.|
|Jeremiah Rivers, SG Doc’s other progeny started off pretty wonky, bricking a gaggle of ill-advised 20-footers (Wait, maybe he’s the perfect Knick shooting guard), but contributed to the Knicks’ 2nd half “run” (as it were) with some nice plays in transition and far better defense on Tony Wroten/”Shelby” than he’d previously demonstrated. And yes, by, “previously,” I mean at around 4:22pm.|
|Mustapha Farrakhan, G Another invitee whose fame thus far is limited to his more-famous relation (There are more coming. Knick nepotism fever, catch it!) He’s an elusive, undersized guard without enough of a jumper or floor general-y skills to make it in the NBA.|
|Wesley Witherspoon, F A long-ish tweener. He was on the floor when the Knicks whittled the lead down to 7, and evidently led the team in scoring but otherwise failed to leave much of an impression on your humble correspondent, who, granted, was having a hard time telling players apart for long stretches. Then again, with regards to Double-W, every time his name came up I stopped following the game because I couldn’t help but think, “Will ‘Wesley Crusher’ Wheaton,” googling his awful Star Trek: TNG scenes where he’s whining/whingeing and giggling fiendishly to myself. Not to get all DSM-III, but A.D.H.D., thy name is Bob.|
|Chris Smith, G And the familial parade continues. Here’s J.R.’s younger brother. He’s a shorter, less athletic version of his sibling. I can only fathom the Eugene O’Neill-esque long-seething resentment that must be festering just beneath the surface of mood-altering/tempering/smoothing/benumbing substances at Smith family gatherings.|
|Mychel Thompson, F Gawd. Where’s Patrick Ewing Jr.? Does John Starks have any offspring? If so, someone should send them westward, post-haste. The Knicks are like La Cosa Nostra when it comes to handing out gigs for underwhelming blood relations. Anyhoo, according to Frazier/Dedes, he’s been displaying the same smooth stroke as frere-Klay. Maybe we’ll see it tomorrow.|
|Kyle Goldcamp, F I just wanted to mention Kyle Goldcamp because he reminded me of Marc Blucas. Best known as “Riley Finn,” the fappish love interest/leatherneck during season 4-5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he also had a a word-less part as a 6-foot supposed PF in the finest Knickerblocker-based cinematic magnum opus ever, Eddie. That is all. Hi Kyle!|
Five Things We Saw
- Oddly enough, the game was eerily similar to many of the New Yorkers’ efforts from last season. At the opening tip, they played some seriously sloppy ball and jacked up awful shots mainly due to the lack of a true point guard which lead to the fellows opposing them building a more or less insurmountable lead. Then, in the second half, they started playing defense and whittled the deficit down to a manageable number, before some good-shooting wing was left wide open after dribble-penetration and banged in a momentum-killing three to end it. Remember that? Me too. I still hate it. Oh well. Yay for consistency!
- That said, Tony Wroten looks good. I’m sure everyone read how his jumper was “broken,” but according to these peepers, it looked absolutely nothing like the gorts Landry/Toney heaved skyward. For the 25th pick in the draft, the right proper denizens of Tennessee have to be thrilled. Shelby also looked markedly improved. Taking SL games in as low-sodium a manner possible (cough, Tskitishvili, cough), if you squinted, you could see a proto-Monta Ellis. Now stop squinting and go see an Optometrist. Glasses are super-cool now. Just ask every young NBA star under 25.
- On a side note, (and granted, this may be a particular obsession of mine), there have been rumblings that our hardwood heroes would be clad in new uniforms this season. No actual, concrete evidence thus far, until this appeared on the shelves of the NBA store. You’ll note that “NEW YORK” is no longer nearly as arched as in the past, the individual letters are larger, and the subway token logo has been replaced. There’s also a very fine gray trim around both the letters and the aforementioned logo. Looks like they’re ditching the black (Praise diety!) but adding another, wholly unnecessary hue to the color scheme (Stoopid diety!). It’s not entirely surprising, given the gray in the new logo center court. Save removing the black, I think the alterations to the wordmark/color scheme don’t work at all, especially considering the simplest solution would be to return to the Frazier/Ewing/”Championship” design, but poor choices by Knick management are up there in the universal certainty rankings, just below Messrs. Death n’ Taxes. But enough o’ my sartorial aesthetic yammerin’, what say you?
- The highiligh of the afternoon had to be the dandy courtside interview that newly fade-haircutted Shump gave where he mentioned:
1. His major at Georgia Tech was Science, Technology and something I couldn’t make out.
2. Food-wise, he’s a chicken/spaghetti guy or a baked potato with broccoli and cheese. Yumz!
3. Coach Woodson should be fined for the wide-lapeled, checkerboard polo he was sporting in the stands today (I concur).
4. Jason Kidd was his idol growing up — the first guy he ever saw dominate a game without scoring.
I talked about this at length in my Clyde thingy, but it bears repeating: Shump is such a genuine, likeable guy. Nash-lust notwithstanding, it’s great he’s still on our side.
- Finally, whilst his charges foundered on the court, our fearless leader, Herr Grunwald was enacting a French door farce or “L’Hotel du libre change” in Vegas this afternoon, dodging process servers bearing Jeremy Lin’s offer sheet. I’d regale you with the tale, but friend of the blog Seth at Posting & Toasting already did a cran-tastic job depicting the borderline-surreal machinations. Readz themz here. Back at it tomorrow. This one doesn’t count! I call do-over!
Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.