|Andrea Bargnani, PF 29 MIN | 4-12 FG | 5-7 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | -4
Sure it’s the preseason, but someone’s gotta be with me on this: Bargnani looks a lot better / smoother / sexier / more effective when he’s killing YOUR team during the regular season. Sure, there were some promising notes: jumpers sans hesitation, a beautiful drive and dime-stopped turnaround, a smooth baseline J a few moments later. Still, the sour remains, in the form of roadkill-slow defensive rotations, and the fact that Bargs couldn’t jump over a million-dollar bill if you told him he could keep it.
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 27 MIN | 4-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -4
I suppose “missing shots in every conceivable way” qualifies as a legit preseason exercise. I don’t know if Melo temporarily replaced his right arm with a splintered yardstick or woven strands of dried kelp or what – touch just wasn’t there. He did haul in a bevy of tough rebounds in traffic, perfectly timed a couple of defensive rakes, and didn’t force the issue to a concerning degree at the other end. Even had the feed on Chandler’s ferocious dunk. As far as tune-ups go, it was akin to watching a stock car going for pole in a grocery store.
|Tyson Chandler, C 20 MIN | 5-6 FG | 5-7 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | -7
Let’s get this out of the way now: the jumper is a real thing that might damn well work. Anyone who displays Chandler’s brand of free throw mechanics – smooth for a big man, no discernable hitch – oughta have the mid-range J clamped to tool belt. It took a few years (12), but we’re finally here. Overall Tyson looked energize and engaged at both ends of the floor.
|Beno Udrih, PG 34 MIN | 7-13 FG | 3-5 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 19 PTS | -4
A longstanding totem of Beno’s game has been his mid-range prowess – off curls, dribble-drives, on the break, wherever. We saw a dash of that tonight, along with solid D and a steadfast recognition that he really does grasp his primary preseason function: get the youngens involved. He’d eventually have to snap the reigns on his own account late in the game, but overall it was a balanced, impressive showing from someone who might have a real chance of supplanting Pablo Pri * sniper rifle *
|Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 39 MIN | 4-16 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | -4
Cut a shaky picture throughout, save for a handful of timely, cold-blooded treys. He was victimized pretty routinely on defense – consistent post-up abuse from Gay and DeRozen early, and Terrence Ross’s perimeter heroics later on. As a late shot-clock, catch-and-shoot option, Hardaway is show-ready. As a reliable 20-plus minute a night rotation player? He’s got a ways to go.
|Ike Diogu, PF 29 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +7
If Ike Diagu doesn’t make this team, I might have to renounce the religion I don’t have. The combination of confident spot-up shooting (mid-range, but seldom so far as to seem ill-advised), paint-scrappin’, and a truly barbaric hate for Tyler Hansbrough maks him a cult hero in waiting. Oh, and Robert thinks he looks like Bob Saget in Full House.
|C.J. Leslie, SF 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +6
I had no idea C.J. Leslie was this skinny. I think you could fit C.J. Leslie into a slot machine or a very narrow bathroom cabinet. The early pull-up was nice, in that I don’t think I’ve ever seen C.J. Leslie make a pull-up jumper. Woody knew he was giving Leslie his longest showcase, and the results were fairly forgettable. I won’t get into why he hasn’t panned out, except to refer you to Mr. Udwary’s terrific piece from earlier today. We’ll just leave it at that.
|Metta World Peace, SF 31 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +1
We’d been hearing quite a bit about Metta’s training camp showing the last few days, so it was nice to see a tangible translation – aggressiveness at both ends of the floor, and a concerted effort to take terrible shots at the worst possible times. Metta’s leadership is evident, but it’s hard not to question whether “getting his” is really the healthiest thing. At a certain point, isn’t it incumbent upon us to wonder whether Metta’s poor decision-make- HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OMG I LOVE YOU PEACE!
|Chris Douglas-Roberts, SG 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 3-3 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +1
A guy who appeared poised for a 10-plus year career while at Memphis, now doomed to the dustbin – at least for now. Deferred early and often, which was great for the offensive flow, and piss poor for his professional prospects. Seems like a good dude, so I hope he sticks somewhere.
|Toure’ Murry, SG 34 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | -2
There’s an element of style-points at play with Murry: the idea that it’s gotta be really, really hard to transition from college two (at a mid-major, no less) to pro one in less than a year. And the deficit is evident, in the occasional shaky handle and corner-gripping instincts. All that aside, the highlights were erudite: a gorgeous lefty lay-in on the break, a pair of contorting and-ones, and that silly third quarter buzzer-beater. The jumper needs some work, as does his propensity for navigating picks like Captain Beefheart on a slalom. Think about it.
Five Things We Saw
- “Clyde, how do you feel about the full beard look from Woodson?”
“It looks…. huh…. it…. it loo….Wow… I me… it looks….Shit…. OK… it looks good? It looks good. I think it looks good. It looks fine. Yeah… it looks alright.”
- Toronto’s gaggle of long, athletic wings gave the Knicks fits the night long; abusing them on turn-arounds and spins like a ballet review, and canning timely threes — contested and wide open alike — when it counted. Hardaway Jr. in particular got barbecued in isolation, the result — SURPRISE! — of undiscerning switches, especially early on.
- During the early stages of the third quarter, the Knicks trotted out a lineup of Murry, Melo, Metta, Bargs, and Chandler. You read that right – Melo at the two. I think? It was kind of a disaster. So Woody can go just ahead and file that whole episode in his failure cabinet, right between “ALL EUROS ALL THE TIME” and “JIM TODD TEAM BUILDING AQUARIUM FIELD TRIP”.
- I alluded to this at a few points earlier in the cap, but I’ve lately been fascinated – thanks to Metta in particular – by the seemingly disparate functions of preseason play: On the one hand, you want to give your vets as many real-time reps as possible; on the other, every possession that ends with a MWP fade-away left corner three with 14 seconds on the shot clock and not, say, a 1-3 P&R with Murry and Leslie on the right wing, kinda seems like a wasted opportunity. Isn’t it in the best interest of the team to – if not outright feed – at least defer to the hopefuls? Why do guys who have long been guaranteed a roster spot feel the need to try moves and shots they know won’t go over well during the preseason? Why are you falling asleep? That’s rude.
- I’ll be honest, I kinda zoned out during those three years of overtime. Mostly because I was busy compiling this: