Scouting Porzingis: Summer League Game 2

Since yesterday’s game was late, I’m just posting my notes:

Again Porzingis is playing center, guarding Tarik Black, who is listed as a center on the Lakers roster. Also they asked L.J. at halftime, and he said center. So put it in the books.

Porzingis ran down the court on a turnover. Got there pretty quickly. Nice touch on a turnaround jump hook from 5.

Porzingis draws a foul on jumper. Opposing player ran out toward him.

Knicks turn it over, Porzingis hustles back on D. They get the ball back & now he’s running up court. Gets the ball in the paint. Without a dribble maneuvers his way for an easy basket. Great hustle, and his footwork looked fantastic on that one. If foot speed up the floor is a reason Cole didn’t get many minutes for Fish, then Porzingis may start.

Seems like good help defense at center today. Caused turnovers on Laker guards Russell and Clarkson driving to the lane by clogging it.

Faked a corner three, & drove to the hoop. Took 3 steps, and was nearly in the paint. Hit it off the glass & drew a foul. Ok so banking shots seems like a thing with him. Hooray! Also he looked pretty good putting it on the floor.

Porzingis couldn’t stop Black from scoring from right under the hoop & fouled him. He’s got a half a foot on Black, but then he’s skinny.

[Grant update: first basket comes in the third quarter. Fake one way, go the other, hit a 10 footer.]

Knicks have fast break. Wow Porzingis is up the floor fast. Although Grant gave the oop to Early. BTW Early seems active this game.

Porzingis got Clarkson on the switch and Zinger posted up. Lakers had to foul. Same possession, the Knicks center gets the ball & a lot of dribbling with his back to the basket. This time the more meaty Randle was guarding him. He goes nowhere. So he needs to face up his opponent to be effective on the dribble.

Porzingis got whistled on what appeared to be a clean block on a dunk attempt by Clarkson.

Again Kristaps had only 3 rebounds. And he missed 4 free throws. Still no three pointers.

Others:

Maurice Ndour had a nice game. Was seemingly all over the court, very very active. L.J. praised him for being vocal, constantly talking on defense. That’s a good sign. Stats unseen I’d take him over Travis Wear.

But if the Knicks want someone that’s going to start a fight, I’d go with Louis Labeyrie who looked as if he was ready to throw punches a couple of times. Certainly a throwback to those 90s teams.

For the Lakers, Russell had a lot of turnovers. I’m too lazy to look at the boxscore, so I’ll guess he coughed it up 23 times. I’m sure one glare from Kobe will cut that number in half.

Liked it? Take a second to support Mike Kurylo on Patreon!

Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

221 thoughts to “Scouting Porzingis: Summer League Game 2”

  1. A lot of us posted as the game was played. Kirk and Ndour were very active. Kirk had surprising mobility and touch on his shot. Ndour was all over the place defensively 3 blocks, 3 steals. Conversely, Thanasis was nowhere to be found. Labeyrie too.

    Look at the numbers for the game and imagine if there were 8 more minutes. Five players nearly had a double-double (Pts-Reb-Ass):
    Early 13-9-3, Ndour 8-8-0, Galloway 13-9-1, Grant 10-0-8, Kirk 10-7-2

    5 players out-rebounded Porzingis. Still, he had a good game. He’ll be a strong second option. Early and Galloway’s 9 rebounds each stand out. They were playing at a different speed.

    Grant schooled Russell all night. Russell looked awful.

  2. Zinger needs to hit the weight room and learn how to box out. Right now, I think he can only manage 15 minutes every other game.
    Not worried about the skill level and instincts (except rebounding) but it’s going to be a slow year of progress.
    Early seemed a lot more under control this game. Granted, he didn’t really play against anyone remotely good. He and Thanassis are in excellent shape though. They could both be helpful end of bench guys.
    Seems like O’Quinn might start on this team, and I think I like that.

  3. Oh yeah and Kirk looks like the kind of back up C that Jax would like. Is he big and fast enought for the NBA though? Not sure.
    NDour is a good athelete and had a good game, but doesn’t seem like he has a great bball iq.

  4. Grant schooled Russell all night. Russell looked awful.

    Yeah, I really like what I see so far in Grant. A lot of poise, sees the floor really well. As far as Russell, well, Steph Curry had an awful summer league his rookie year and I guess he turned out ok. So I’ll reserve judgement on Barksdale for now.

  5. I also look forward to seeing Grant play with Melo, Afflalo, and Calderon, given how offensively-limited most of his summer league teammates are.

    Definitely a lot of potential energy and/or defense guys on the summer league roster (and on the veteran roster, for that matter), but we could definitely use some more three-point shooting.

    Seems like O’Quinn might start on this team, and I think I like that.

    Okay, so if O’Quinn starts, and if Fisher decides (as some of the beat writers have speculated) to start Grant alongside Calderon so Afflalo could bring some offense to the second unit, the lineup would look something like…

    C: Lopez/Porzingis (who will also play alongside each other at times)
    PF: O’Quinn/Williams/Amundson
    SF: Anthony/Cleanthony/Thomas
    SG: Grant/Afflalo
    PG: Calderon/Galloway

    Plus the hypothetical back-up center Phil talked about, plus a couple of guys from the summer league team. (Ledo has to get his game under control to have any kind of real future here.)

    It’s an interesting group. Not sure all the pieces fit (as we’re being reminded in summer league, Galloway’s not really a point guard, and will have to almost always play with one of Grant or Calderon on the floor with him), but I like the looks of this bunch a lot more than last year’s.

  6. Clyde had a good game last night — referred to Russell as “Angelo,” Early as “Anthony,” and twice called Kurt Rambis “Ramses.”
    Ndour has a standing reach of 9’1″ which, according to draftexpress, is average for an NBA center who was drafted and 2-1/2″ higher than the average 4.

  7. From Twitter:

    Alexey Shved has turned down Knicks offer and is weighing return to Europe, said agent Obrad Fimic.

    Mills last night suggested they were going to hold onto the room exception in case someone good materialized down the road.

  8. On P&T, someone dubbed Kristaps “Zingis Khan.” I like that!

    Ndour really impressed me. I just took a look at his college stats, very impressive!

    http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/maurice-ndour-1.html

    What really stood out was how well he shot it from 3: 43%!! I saw him take an ugly one last night and was not impressed, but apparently he’s capable from out there.

    I hope at the least he gets a camp invite.

    I’m not sold on Kirk, he’s a foul waiting to happen and will never stay on the floor with NBA-level players. Plus, he looks way out of shape.

    Galdikas must really suck, hasn’t gotten a minute yet.

  9. Ndour has a standing reach of 9’1? which, according to draftexpress, is average for an NBA center who was drafted and 2-1/2? higher than the average 4.

    Through two games, at least, he’s looking more like the player we hope Thanassis can be than Thanassis has.

  10. Ladies and Gentlemen: Thank you for flying Aer Zingus. Due to a thick fog below, we will have to maintain our holding pattern but will begin our approach to Springfield Airport as soon as it lifts. We hope you will continue to fly Aer Zingus in the future.

  11. The only negative I can see on Prozingis so far is his rebounding. It’s not so much that he’s gotten so few. It’s that his reaction time seems poor. A shot will go up and there will be several players in the area including him, but in that split instant that you can first see where the ball is going it’s like everyone gets there before he does. It makes it look like he was just unfortunate to not be in the right spot, but that’s not it some of the time. He’s just too slow to react. I think it’s part instinct, part experience, and part that some of the players are just quicker. Hopefully he’ll at least learn how to position himself better and then when he gets stronger be able to secure enough of them to at least be OK.

    I saw nothing that made me think Thanasis is ready for the NBA. I saw in him D league last year. I thought he had a long way to go and I still think that. Maybe he’ll get there in time, but we have only a couple of spots left if they keep Ledo (who I believe has a partial guarantee). One spot is going to a backup C. I can’t believe we can’t find a better young player than him if he insists on a roster spot now and won’t go back to D league for awhile.

    Grant looks very good. He’ll be a rotation player to start the season and could win a starting spot by the end of the season or earlier. This was a homerun trade.

    I was expecting a lot more from Early this year than last year. He was hurt and out of shape all last year. Now that he’s healthy he’s looking a lot better. I can still see him becoming a pretty good player with experience.

  12. Aer Zingus is very solid.

    I’m not sold on Kirk, he’s a foul waiting to happen and will never stay on the floor with NBA-level players. Plus, he looks way out of shape.

    Oh? But can he hit a hook shot?

  13. I think we should cut Ledo and bring on Ndour, T.J Bray (if he looks good/ever gets playtime), maybe Kirk, maybe Galdikas (if he ever shows up either), maybe Thanasis.

    I don’t imagine that Ledo is ever gonna develop and I’d rather move on. But if no one looks that good then I guess we keep Ledo and add Ndour plus one.

  14. The only negative I can see on Prozingis so far is his rebounding. It’s not so much that he’s gotten so few. It’s that his reaction time seems poor.

    Strat – a lot of what you say I agree with. It’s been a consistent observation going back to film of him in Europe. It’s positioning, footwork under the boards and anticipation. But in addition to that he’s losing the box-outs because of his strength and he’s not securing the ball when he gets his hands on it. A couple of times in last night’s game he brought the ball down low, which for a guy who’s 8’2″ isn’t the smartest thing to do.

  15. Maurice “the Forest Moon” N’dour is looking like the player that Thanasis should be at this point. I think he is interesting for a camp invite, but his offense is concerning. Don’t think Kirk translates to the NBA and would rather see them go in a different direction for a third C.

  16. and he’s not securing the ball when he gets his hands on it. A couple of times in last night’s game he brought the ball down low, which for a guy who’s 8’2? isn’t the smartest thing to do.

    Bringing it down is a clear error. The boxing out and bulling his way into position is strength. That can be fixed. I wonder how much of losing the ball once he has it is strength and how much is just bad hands.

  17. A couple of times in last night’s game he brought the ball down low

    I don’t think Phil is particularly adept at building a team. However, I do think he’s great at team-building (via Triangle) and instilling fundamentals. It’s clear that this is what he cares most about, what animates him, and I hope he takes a very active role in coaching this team. From the Rosen files, it appears that he wanted to maintain his distance at first but started to become more involved last season. Keep it up Phil – next season you could begin to trail off and let Fish do more. But it’s important that the foundation and tone for the future be set by you and that may only be achieved by your being very involved this season.

  18. As i said before, Porzingis cant play center right away and thats where he is now. This is good for his development but he will play PF throughout the season. I advocate for him to start and get thrown into the fire.

  19. ndour is going overseas i think… he might be back next year…

    porzingis will start looking a lot better once he gets his stamina and strength up.. i don’t think he necessarily needs to gain any weight… the height is what puts me off with him being any more than 245…

  20. “and Justin Bieber.”
    Have you ever seen Justin Bieber play basketball? He is shockingly pretty good. The other celebrity who is surprisingly good at basketball is Bobby Flay. Special mention goes to Denzel Washington, who played on the JV team at Fordham and was coached by PJ Carlisemo.

  21. Okay, so if O’Quinn starts, and if Fisher decides (as some of the beat writers have speculated) to start Grant alongside Calderon so Afflalo could bring some offense to the second unit, the lineup would look something like…

    C: Lopez/Porzingis (who will also play alongside each other at times)
    PF: O’Quinn/Williams/Amundson
    SF: Anthony/Cleanthony/Thomas
    SG: Grant/Afflalo
    PG: Calderon/Galloway

    You really can’t start Grant and Calderon together as those are the only two point guards on the roster. Galloway is in no way, shape or form a point guard. If you want to bring Afflalo off of the bench then you need to start Galloway. I will say this starting five in the summer league has looked pretty good- swap out N’Dour and put in KOQ and that might actually be a nice second unit. Having a group out there that will actually run the floor would be a nice change from the last, what 25 years? The last Knick team I can recall that genuinely pushed the ball successfully was Pitino’s. None of Riley’s or Van Gundy’s teams pushed the pace much at all. Even D’A’s teams hardly ran- the Knick’s did run a bit during Amare’s first year here but that came to crashing halt once Billups and Melo arrived. Maybe Isiah’s teams ran but that was such an awful period I’ve completely expunged any memory of it from my mind.

  22. Grant pushes the ball up the floor and finds the right guy. It’s beautiful. Fisher didn’t force him to run the triangle too much. Also beautiful. There was a decent amount of sharing on O and good help D and the impression of most guys wanting to show off their team skills as much as their individual skills. I like that. Competition to see who gets a shot at the roster will be interesting.

  23. Grant seemed more comfortable passing in transition than in the half court, but I could be biased negatively because he managed to overthrow bazingus that one time. Dude is like 8′ tall-how do you pass it over his head?

    Anyhow, was that true for Grant in college? Or maybe he’s just getting used to the system?

  24. My guess is we’ll start Grant/Calderon, Afflalo, Melo, Porzingis, and Lopez, with the Grant vs. Calderon debate based on how everyone looks in training camp and preseason. Between Melo and Afflalo the offense should run reasonably well even with a rookie PG in the lineup. There’s a fair amount of shooting, playmaking, defense, and rim protection in that group.

    Putting Calderon on the second unit might be helpful just in terms of settling the O while the main guns are resting. Subbing him in with KOQ, Galloway, and Williams would make a nice second unit.

  25. Karl Anthony Towns with the solid 8.3 fouls/36 so far. If that wasn’t a big concern coming out of college I would blow it off, but man – foul magnet.

  26. Two things I liked:
    Zinger’s passing has been better than expected. I think it was Brian C. who pointed out that he was terrible at passing in Spain. I’m not seeing that thus far.

    Grant’s play overall. I like the way he took Clarkson off the dribble for an and-1 floater going left. That was a pro move vs. a pro-level defender. I also like the way he made a clutch simple pull-up jumper when things got tight, showed real leadership there.

  27. Good human interest story. I remember that draft vividly, with a diehard season ticket holding friend saying definitively on Draft night, “That guy will never play a single minute in the NBA.”

    I remember that draft so well too – was already pre-celebrating getting Artest when they said “Frederic Weis”, then feeling my stomach fall into the basement. Still shocking to this day. That was the original “The East is Big” moment since if I remember correctly that was the draft right after we were dominated by the Duncan/Robinson frontline in the finals.

  28. @18 Strat

    I wonder how much of losing the ball once he has it is strength and how much is just bad hands.

    His hands looked good, in fact, he force a bunch of TOs because of quick hands. I think it’s mostly because of positioning and letting the ball come down to waist height. Definitely a teaching point.

    I wonder if a few sessions with the Worm will help him on the boards?

  29. Kristaps Haderach

    I like it but 98% of people won’t get it, even the ones who have seen Dune….

  30. Karl Anthony Towns with the solid 8.3 fouls/36 so far. If that wasn’t a big concern coming out of college I would blow it off, but man – foul magnet.

    It’s not just Towns. Based on the miniscule sample size of Summer League thus far, it seems that many other top prospects have lived down to the concerns that had been expressed about them prior to the draft.

    Apart from Towns’ penchant for fouling, I’ve also noted Russell’s lack of athleticism/ failure to separate from defenders; Mudiay’s piss-poor jumper and foul shooting; Hezonja’s wild streakiness; and, of course, Zinger’s lack of functional NBA strength and questionable rebounding instincts.

    The only top prospect I’ve watched (and I’ve not seen them all) who’s yet to exhibit any glaring flaws in his game is Okafor. His reputation as a poor defender has not been exposed against Summer League competition. That probably won’t be the case at the next level.

    Not that we really needed one, but Summer League has provided us with another reminder that there were no can’t miss prospects in the 2015 draft class who were poised to take the NBA by storm this year. All the top prospects have pretty glaring holes in their games that will need to be corrected in order for them to become more than just regular rotation players. Regardless of who Phil might have selected, Knick fans would have had plenty to gripe about at this stage. The good news for us (at least at this waaaay too early juncture) is that Porzingis’ flaws appear to be much easier to correct than those of some of the others.

  31. Two DUIs in 6 months. He has a problem and needs help bad. No excuse for him to be driving anywhere at this point.

  32. Isola continuing to do top notch work, reporting that Carmelo is “skeptical of Knicks’ moves” according to “a source”

    Does he really get paid for stuff like this? Nice work if you can get it, I guess.

  33. I really liked the way Knick centers would set a pick and flash to the paint. Seems like they were getting guys to the middle at will. No threes necessary. Zingerbread Man had pretty nice starting position on his catches even though the guards did not feed the post particularly well. There was willingness to share and the ball moved. Good defense too.

    I might like SL Knicks better than the real ones. If the real team tries as hard as these guys I’ll be psyched.

  34. i think it’s important to remember that summer league is sort of like a dleague equivalent meaning it’s still a step up from ncaa and probably europe… it also plays a lot like all star games… meaning guards dominate the ball with brand new teammates and systems as it’s more like a showcase for the players on the court.. fg% are low and turnovers are high… also with summer league rules you’re going to also have sky high foul rates… and age more than anything plays a huge factor…

    so russell and mudiay and the other guys who just turned 19 are probably gonna struggle some… this is a huge step up for them and they were never really pegged as transcendent stars… durant had a pretty horrific summer league numbers wise but he was still 18… towns and okafor look fine… just holding your own at their age is a win… turner looks to be a beast tho…

    for the older guys it’s a lot more meaningful so it’s nice to see grant excelling… but just like college seniors almost half of these guys are still younger than him so he should be playing well.. it’s why guys like stein and kaminsky are playing about the same as in college…

  35. Isola also tweeted:

    Phil told Charlie Rosen in Dec that the FA he wanted was “Greg Monroe, for sure. He can hold his spot in the low post & he’s a good passer”

  36. Although Mudiay has struggled with his shooting in Summer League as expected, I still worry that in 10 years the Knicks will really regret passing on him to take Porzingis.

  37. Yeah, summer league doesn’t mean a whole lot. Pelton took a look at it a couple years ago and found that it was basically meaningless for vets, but was somewhat predictive for rookies.

  38. @29
    Z-man, thanks for the link to the Weis article. Sounds like his kid might have pretty severe autism. My oldest son has Asperger’s, and even that has been a bit of a struggle; Weis is dealing with much worse.

    RE Isola. Some people just want to watch the world burn?

  39. Calderon for Lawson? Wouldn’t the Nuggets have to take back $5m more in salary? Ready to give up on Derrick Williams so soon?
    :-)

  40. @49
    Not loving it. Apart from pushing the frailty fear button
    Associations with toast and getting burned not so good
    Association with doughnuts worse
    Association with canabanoidal euphoria more pleasant but not necessarily connotative of good performance

  41. Z-man, thanks for the link to the Weis article. Sounds like his kid might have pretty severe autism. My oldest son has Asperger’s, and even that has been a bit of a struggle; Weis is dealing with much worse.

    Yeah that NYT article is really good; I encourage everyone to read it.

  42. Kristaps Haderach

    I like it but 98% of people won’t get it, even the ones who have seen Dune….

    If Phil has used this draft to breed our very own Kwisatz Haderach then our boy better see a vision of himself hoisting the O’Brien within the next decade or it will all be for naught. Also, does this kind of make Phil into the living embodiment of The Sisterhood?

  43. @51 – Yeah, really good article. I can’t believe he almost killed himself, partially because of the Knicks. Tells you something about how poorly the organization has been run. Just a pity.

  44. Ty Lawson– NO. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

    You don’t spend two offseasons trying to change the culture of the organization for the better, then bring in a human train wreck who can barely go a couple of weeks without racking up a DUI. Lawson is bad news, toxic, absolutely not worth it and not a good idea. This isn’t a fantasy team where you’re just looking for the guy with the best stats. Phil is trying to bake some accountability and maturity into the cake, and Lawson just does not fit in with that at all.

  45. Re: Okafor, agree on O, but I saw some glaring issues with his defense and especially his motor re: rebounding. He does not leave his area to pursue a defensive rebound. But his post moves are awesome.

    The larger point: scouting is pretty spot-on these days. My favorite are the Mike Schmitz video breakdowns.

    Of course, it’s all about development. All of the 19 year olds are roughly equal right now, and Summer League has exposed their most alarming weaknesses. But beyond that, the NBA game is so much bigger, faster, more talented, smarter and better coached that even if these initial weaknesses are corrected to the point where they will pass muster in summer league, being successful in the NBA will continue to require adjustments for years. It took years for Magic to develop a 3-point shot, for LeBron to develop a post game, for Dirk to develop a deadly step-back, for Kobe to develop the Jordan fade away.

    What I like most about Porzingis is that he has so many advantages just because of his height and straight-ahead speed. He seems to love to run out on the break, and its only a matter of time before that starts to click off of Lopez/Melo/O’Quinn rebounds. His presence on D just because of his sheer height/length is pretty awesome. He’s got Roy Hibbert length in a skinnier but far more athletic body. Hibbert absolutely sucked as a college freshman, was a 17th pick project at draft time, and developed enough to completely humiliate DPOY Chandler in a critical playoff series. All of his regressing of late seems to be rooted between the ears. I can’t imagine that (barring injury!!!) Porzingis isn’t going to be at least as much of a defensive presence as Hibbert, perhaps not as good in the post but much more mobile.

  46. Off topic, but Ty Lawson is a fucking idiot who should probably be locked up for a few months.

    It’s sad to see a talented player self destruct, but he’s taking the Nuggets down with him on this. They’ve been trying to trade him, but these Twitter outbursts and now this DUI are killing any chance of getting decent value back for him.

  47. @55 I hear ya! That’s what I want to know…your opinions! Just curious because we also know that Phil has a history with troubled players: Rodman, Artest, Odom…maybe even Bynum….

  48. if only he could switch to wearing number one, we could get the nickname stuff over with and call him KRS One.

  49. It’s interesting that Phil mentioned he extended an offer to Cole Aldrich. Wouldn’t it have been a simple matter to clear up that Monroe meeting if he had tweeted or said: We offered Monroe the max and at no time did we ask him to take less than his max.

  50. Zinger’s passing has been better than expected. I think it was Brian C. who pointed out that he was terrible at passing in Spain. I’m not seeing that thus far.

    Not that he was a bad passer, but that he just never passed the ball. His assist rate was Eddy Curry-esque.

  51. Tidbits on N’Dour from his Ohio University page: He left Senegal to attend high school in Japan so he could pursue his basketball ambitions. He speaks 5 languages fluently – English, French, Japanese, Wolof and Serer.

  52. I can’t believe he almost killed himself, partially because of the Knicks. Tells you something about how poorly the organization has been run.

    I got that Weis regrets he didn’t play in the NBA, but I didn’t get from the article that maltreatment by the Knicks was a significant factor in his decision to attempt suicide. Besides not playing in the NBA, Weis had a full career in Europe. Based on the article, it seems as though the Knicks dealt with him fairly.

    The revelation from the article was Weis wanted to be drafted into the NBA, but then made the decision to stay in France. I had believed the Knicks foolishly wasted a pick by drafting Weis as a player who had no wish to play in the NBA.

    He was offered a rookie deal and turned it down. For at least the next 2 seasons, there was outreach by the Knicks, despite the change in Knicks management. Weis claims the agents the Knicks spoke with didn’t represent him, which sounds fishy. That part of the story is murky. Of course, Weis could have reached out to the Knicks to check on the team’s plans at any time or request a trade of his draft rights to another team, which the Knicks eventually did in 2008.

  53. “Nonsense,” he says. “Any team can be competitive if they execute the triangle correctly.”

    What an odd thing for Jackson to say. I don’t even have a problem with the Triangle, but to act like it, in and of itself, can make a team competitive? Say whaaaaaa?

  54. “English, French, Japanese, Wolof and Serer.”
    Guys like this make me feel pretty dumb. He can speak languages that I didn’t even know existed — Wolof? Serer?

  55. “English, French, Japanese, Wolof and Serer.”
    Guys like this make me feel pretty dumb. He can speak languages that I didn’t even know existed — Wolof? Serer?

    lol. I just figured the last two were used in Senegal

  56. @65
    That’s at least 4 more languages than I speak fluently, so it impressed me too. I’m an Afro Pop fan so I’d heard of Wolof, but Serer is news to me.
    He came across well in an interview I saw. His D, motor, length, hops, and 3pt% in college have me a bit intrigued.

  57. @68 – I’m a huge Afro-pop fan as well, back to Orchestre Baobob. Have friends who speak Wolof. But I’ve never heard of Serer!

    Missed the game last night, but it sounds as if Bazinger is showing that he’s not a likely bust, even if he has years before he reaches his full potential. I can live with that. With luck, Melo can’t, and requests a trade.

  58. While the notes are interesting, at times you seem to try to draw definitive conclusions on really small samples. I think observations are great and it doesn’t hurt to throw in some hypotheses as well. I think that drawing definitive conclusions in a one game scouting report (or wording them as such, anyway) is dangerous.

    center. So put it in the books.

    It’s not entirely clear what you’re saying, but…. he’s played the 5 in two SL games =/= put it in the books that he’s a 5. It’s probably a pretty good indication that the Knicks want him at the 5 at some point. Whether that’s the best spot for him and when it is the best spot for him are slightly different questions. (I like his potential as a help defender at the 5… just not “putting it in the book” yet.)

    This time the more meaty Randle was guarding him. He goes nowhere. So he needs to face up his opponent to be effective on the dribble.

    Or he lost one battle against a pretty big dude. I don’t this Zinger’s post-game is particularly developed, but didn’t score once =/= can’t post-up, has to face-up.

  59. @63 – It’s precisely the last paragraph, where you say “Things got murky” that I refer to. When you pick a guy that high in the draft, wouldn’t you think they would dig into the “Nah, he prefers to stay in Europe” answer? I would. It speaks volumes about poor management. Had I been the GM, I would’ve gotten my butt onto a jet and made damn sure to have a face-to-face with the kid. I would at least want to talk to the guy on the phone. Maybe he was afraid of NY. OK, I could trade his rights. We’ll never know the full details but now it seems like a lot of people dropped the ball.

  60. You don’t spend two offseasons trying to change the culture of the organization for the better, then bring in a human train wreck who can barely go a couple of weeks without racking up a DUI. Lawson is bad news, toxic, absolutely not worth it and not a good idea.

    He’s got red flags and you obviously have to do your homework/weigh the risks against the expected return, but people go through rough patches. I’m not saying the behavior is excusable. It’s certainly possible that he turns his life around, though.

    The Knicks may be in a position where if they have reason to believe that Lawson will try to get his life together (a big if, no doubt), rolling the dice on a two year commitment to a good player at potentially rock bottom prices could be a wise move.

    “Nonsense,” he says. “Any team can be competitive if they execute the triangle correctly.”

    What an odd thing for Jackson to say. I don’t even have a problem with the Triangle, but to act like it, in and of itself, can make a team competitive? Say whaaaaaa?

    Without context, I guess it kind of depends how you interpret “execute correctly.” I mean, in a sense, any team can be competitive if they execute any decent offense correctly… if executing correctly means scoring at an efficient clip.

  61. i think it’s important to remember that summer league is sort of like a dleague equivalent meaning it’s still a step up from ncaa and probably europe…

    What do you have against European basketball?

    The SL is definitely not a higher level of competition than the higher levels in Europe.

  62. a good player at potentially rock bottom prices could be a wise move

    Rock bottom price is $25,000,000 over two years?

  63. Okafor is definitely the goods with the ball in his hands around the basket. He’s just very comfortable around the rim, doesn’t rush anything, has great footwork.

  64. Looks like Fish put Kirk in with Zinger to guard Okafor. Mercy sub.

    Edit : Wear Bear for Zinger now.

  65. Some told Kirk that the way to defend Okafor is to stand entirely still until he gets bored and walks away.

  66. Okafor is definitely the goods with the ball in his hands around the basket. He’s just very comfortable around the rim, doesn’t rush anything, has great footwork.

    And they were
    so
    freaking
    close
    to him.

    Once he was off the board, I actively wanted Zinger, but wow, that was painful to have Okafor dangled in front of our faces like that.

  67. It’s painful that NYK just missed on Okafor, but the Lakers actually passed on him to take Barksdale!

  68. It’s painful that NYK just missed on Okafor, but the Lakers actually passed on him to take Barksdale!

    I like Russell, but I agree that this draft had a clear top two (Towns and Okafor) and picking anyone but those two in the top two was over-thinking things.

  69. I like Russell, but I agree that this draft had a clear top two (Towns and Okafor) and picking anyone but those two in the top two was over-thinking things.

    Brian I got to call you out on this. I specifically remember you trumpeting a clear top three repeatedly on here. Now a couple bad summer league games and it was a clear top two?

  70. Brian I got to call you out on this. I specifically remember you trumpeting a clear top three repeatedly on here. Now a couple bad summer league games and it was a clear top two?

    How is that contradictory? There was a clear top three. Russell was just the clear third. I’ve always been big on Okafor. I talked about him being not an awful choice for #1 just a month ago (although I would go with Towns). When we did the Round Table and we were asked who would we want to drop to #4 out of Okafor and Russell, I said Okafor.

    Or from last month:

    I’d be ecstatic to get Okafor at #3, let alone #4. He and Towns are the class of the draft. He’s historically good on offense. Russell, though, would be one hell of a consolation prize. Even Mudiay, by the way, isn’t a piece of crap. He’s still going to be at the very least a rotation player in the NBA.

  71. a good player at potentially rock bottom prices could be a wise move

    Rock bottom price is $25,000,000 over two years?

    I was referring more to the assets you’d have to give up to get him, but in today’s NBA? 2 years, $25 million is nothing. Brandon Knight just got 5/$70 and Reggie Jackson got 5/$80 in free agency. (Not trying to split hairs on exactly how good each of the three is… just that’s what a decent-to-good, but non-elite PG is getting in free agency.) If you’re even somewhat optimistic about his production for the next two years, the salary is a relative bargain.

    I’m not saying just grab him for fun, but there’s a real argument for doing it if you believe he’ll get it together. A two year commitment to a good PG could fit well with the Knicks’ short-term/long-term balancing act. There are some other negatives to consider besides his antics, of course, including his age and gradual decline in some of this stats as well as the triangle maybe not maximizing his value…

  72. How is that contradictory? There was a clear top three. Russell was the clear third. I’ve always been big on Okafor. When we did the Round Table and we were asked who would we want to drop to #4 out of Okafor and Russell, I said Okafor.

    I’m not saying you didn’t prefer Okafor over Russell but if you ever expressed it as “picking anyone but those two in the top two was over-thinking things” I certainly never saw it, and many, many posters here preferred Russell to Okafor, giving you plenty of opportunities to offer that opinion.

    edit: Whoops, one ninja edit deserves another. Maybe you did say it. I stand corrected. My bad.

  73. Well, that was kind of ragged last night. My take:
    Lakers : Russell looked like he could shoot, score, pass, and has a good handle. Too many turnovers , but he looked as advertised most of the time (and also looked like he was 19 starting his 2nd pro game).
    Clarkson alternated between solid on some plays and horrible on others
    Randle – let’s just say there won’t be any plays from last night in his highlight reel. He looked terrible, a turnover machine.
    Brown: Scored well last night, hit some tough shots, great goggles
    Everyone else : meh

    Knicks : Porzingas is showing that he has talent, but he has a ways to go (also looked like he was 19 starting his 2nd pro game). Good footwork, moves well for his size, ,hits his free throws, needs to get stronger, and cut down on the stupid fouls and turnovers.
    Grant: Has a good feel for the point guard position, looks like he belongs. Needs to improve his shooting and defense. Overall , an excellent pickup for NY at a position of dire need.
    C Early: Active all night, good in transition. Needs to play better defense, Cannot shoot
    Alex Kirk : Scored well, too slow on defense. Go MWC
    Dreadlock Dude: I kind of like him for some weird reason. Good effort, long and athletic.
    Everyone else: Meh

    It’s summer league, what can we expect?!!??

  74. edit: Whoops, one ninja edit deserves another. Maybe you did say it. I stand corrected. My bad.

    No worries. There were certainly tons of opinions being tossed around back then, so it is hard to keep things straight! :) And I was big on Russell, as well, so I can certainly understand the confusion. This was a really, really, really good top three where Russell was just a clear third choice.

  75. I’ve read that Ndor is ticketed to play in Europe this year. How do his rights go? He wasn’t drafted by the Knicks, but has he signed some sort of deal that gives them first shot at him if he doesn’t make the Knicks and does play in Europe?

  76. @71

    Based on the article, it appears Weis wanted to join the NBA when he was drafted by the Knicks. Then he practiced with the team ahead of summer league, was offered a contract, and changed his mind. He now blames his agent(s) for misleading him as well as a belief that the Knicks didn’t want him despite that he was drafted with a 1st round pick, offered a contract, and Knicks statements of interest over the next 2 seasons.

    The Knicks could have done better due diligence before drafting Weis with a 1st round pick to determine whether he was a head case who might flake, but it doesn’t appear they drafted a player who preferred Europe over the NBA. Unless that part of the story changed, too, Weis wanted the NBA when he was drafted, began the process of joining the Knicks, but then changed his mind for a murky reason.

  77. I like that grant is going against a pro level defender in Wilbekin and Kristaps is going against a pro level offensive big in OK4.

  78. For as good as Okafor’s looked his TS% is sub .500 today while Zinger’s is at .670- who’s dominating who???

  79. the triangle makes decent passers out of most big men… it makes decisions for them which is the nice part about it… cole aldrich is a prime example…

  80. Zinger’s stroke: lovely, isn’t it?

    It really is. It’s by far my favorite thing about him.

  81. I was literally just thinking that..I imagine he must excel at breaking down film and knows the offense well or something because he has zero nba level skills

  82. Remember that one time Wear kinda, sorta, maybe shut down LeBron for a game? Those were magical times.

  83. Kirk has taken 11 shots, far more than anyone on the team. Now, a couple of times he had to b/c the shot clock was running out, but crazy that he’s taken 7 more shots than Porzingis so far!

  84. @125 yup I actually do now that you mention it i think that was game 2 last year…At the time I do remember him doing a decent job on lebron for like a stretch of a quarter or so. optimistic thoughts of maybe unlocking a poor mans parsons or something might have crossed my mind but yeah best night of the season last year :(

  85. Nice to hear Scottie Wilbekin is playing well. Got the chance to see him play a lot in the Australian league last season playing for Cairns. Had a huge impact on the team with his defence and won the teams MVP award (might of won DPOY for Cairns as well). Played a hell of a Grand Final series, despite losing. I think he has signed on again to play in Australia for the 15/16 season, but would be good to see an NBA team latch on to him. Can be a bit streaky with his scoring, but his defence is top notch.

  86. Yeah he sort of reminds me of Ewing on the offensive end….although I have to say I am definitely a person that was loathing the zinger pick but I rather like what I see out of him.

  87. Okafor has muscled Zinger for the most part today but he did block him twice in one-on-one matchups.

  88. Clyde is turning into Phil Rizzuto. Every year he starts to panic about the postgame outbound traffic a minute earlier.

  89. Just reading an article about Ndour right now evidently he speaks 5 languages including 2 that I have never heard of (Wolof and Serer)

  90. Bazingus needs some work on his screen game. I love that he’s not trying to force his offense

    But that shit was dumb though. I was writing something about how you could tell hes been a professional. . .

  91. These refs love to call fouls on 3 point attempts. To be honest, they’ve been doing it all along, not just there.

  92. I hope that by the time the season starts Fisher figures out that when the other team puts their big man on the inbounder you might not want to have Galloway inbounding.

  93. No way that was a foul. Also, if Ndour gets in a fight, can we please call it the Battle of Ndour?

  94. if okafor’s not playing defense and he struggles to finish over size like that… it’s gonna be pretty hard for him… so glad we don’t have him…

  95. Wow – awesome sequence! Really like the defense by Dr. Doom!

    No one has mentioned yet (as far as I’ve read) that another reason Dr. Doom is a great nickname is that the new Fantastic Four movie is about to come out.

  96. Zinger’s inability to grab a board there was worrisome. But he is changing a ton of shots.

  97. Also have to credit Grant for his assist to Early after the Zinger block. Thought Grant was in trouble once he picked up his dribble but he didnt panic and threw a perfect pass to Early for the dunk. Good stuff.

  98. there’s plenty of 7fters tho… he hasn’t had an easy time scoring in summer league by any stretch but that was expected…

  99. Amazing how into it I get. Maybe it’s because of the trauma of feeling sick over every Knicks win for 3 months.

  100. Some observations:
    I love Porzingis. The shot blocking/intimidation is real. The stroke is pure. The rebounding is putrid.

    Zinger made two really nice passes and no really bad ones…that’s an unexpected plus!

    Zinger has not had a single dunk or 3-pointer…that’s an unexpected minus.

    Ndour should immediately be offered a camp invite. He’s still raw, but has value on both ends. In fact, I’d cut Thanasis and Ledo and sign him right now. DO NOT LET HIM GET AWAY!!!

  101. porzingis per 36 through 3 SL games…
    2p fg% = .692
    reb = 5.6
    stls = 1.2
    blks = 3.7
    ast = 1.8
    to = 2.5
    pts = 18.6

  102. I agree N’dour needs an invite and should be signed actually. The good thing about Thanasis is that the knicks do not have to cut him because he is not signed. They own his rights so they can let him develop in Westchester or overseas.

  103. Okafor definitely needs to get in better shape- he looked gassed the entire second half. Even so I kind of agree with Djphan- he got blocked 5 times and you do have to wonder how he’s going to fare when he’s going up against NBA length each and every night. I’d still say he’s probably a safer bet than Porzingis but I won’t be surprised at all if Porzingis is the better player 3 years from now.

    On another note- Early’s actually looked like he could be a decent rotation guy. He looks much more athletic and his passing has really impressed me- every time he gets a step rather than just putting his head down and charging to the basket (like Ledo for instance) he’s got his head up and has repeatedly found guys underneath for easy buckets.

    After a very rough start Grant played well as well. And Ndour has certainly earned a training camp invite- I agree with whoever posted earlier that he’s giving the Knicks exactly what they probably expected from Thanasis (who actually played pretty well today as well.)

  104. i’m very encouraged that he’s keeping most of his shots inside 15ft… the reb is obviously pretty worrisome…

  105. Tell ya, Wilbekin could play on my team anytime.

    Cool thing about Wilbekin is that he just turned 22 in April and has played 4yr in college and 1yr in Australia/greece.

    He was always better shooting the 3. A very good form shooter.

  106. Zinger definitely needs to improve on his rebounding and I do find it odd that he doesn’t get more just by virtue of being 7’3″, but I’m not overly concerned. Okafor had 6 rebounds in 31 minutes, Zinger had 3 in 22 minutes. Both pretty bad, but as long as he holds his own against the opposing center (and he’s not going to be playing center anyway) I think he’ll be fine.

    If during the season the Knicks grab approximately the same number of rebounds as the opposition, I honestly don’t care much how many Zinger gets, as long as he plays solid D and scores efficiently.

  107. So I DVR’ed the game and even scheduled it for an extra 10 minutes which wasn’t enough! Damn. I missed the last play of regulation and the OT. It was a fun game but not a well played game. The Okafor-Porzingis matchup is one we’ll be seeing for a long time. I hope Clyde serves KP and his brother protein shakes when they visit the Wind-n-Dine. Zinger should take the entire team out for dinner because of that foul at the end of regulation. Last night it was Kirk. Tonight it was Ndour. Frankly, I would like to see both of them try out in camp. Early looked good again. Let’s see what he does against real NBA talent but it would be like finding buried treasure if he suddenly develops into a scorer.

    Oh. I’ve now watched 3 games in a row for the first time since January. 2015 basketball was painful until now.

  108. Apparently the Nuggets are considering flat out waiving Ty Lawson. At the vet minimum (somebody will definitely offer him more, but still), do you take a chance with him? It’s a low-risk, high reward thing. Worst case scenario he sucks and is a locker room cancer, so we cut him. Best case scenario we have a top 10 or 12 point guard for dirt cheap in a season where we don’t have a draft pick.

  109. I hope Clyde serves KP and his brother protein shakes when they visit the Wind-n-Dine.

    Hilarious!

  110. Apparently the Nuggets are considering flat out waiving Ty Lawson. At the vet minimum (somebody will definitely offer him more, but still), do you take a chance with him? It’s a low-risk, high reward thing. Worst case scenario he sucks and is a locker room cancer, so we cut him. Best case scenario we have a top 10 or 12 point guard for dirt cheap in a season where we don’t have a draft pick.

    I would gladly have the Knicks take him for the vet minimum. This, by the way, is an area where keeping the room exception open could really help the Knicks, as it might give them a leg up on just this type of scenario, where players suddenly become free agents. Lawson/Grant is an intriguing backcourt, with Calderon/Afflalo off the bench. And Galloway in case of injuries.

  111. A starting 5 of Lawson, Afflalo, Melo, Porzingis, and Lopez could win a whole 45 games and possibly challenge for the Atlantic Division. Could you imagine that? Getting Lawson would be nice, and the room exception for him would be a good deal.

  112. I think they’d still go with Grant paired with Lawson, with Afflalo off the bench. Lawson has had success in a two-point set-up.

  113. Lawson at the room would be, uh, great.

    And he’d be in NY so he could just take a limo everywhere or whatever kind of transportation rich people take when they go out.

  114. Even assuming that he overachieved tonight, NDour still seems to have skills on both ends, plays hard and smart, is athletic, and has a good attitude. I wish summer league was longer so we could get a better look at him.

  115. I have nothing against Lawson, wish him well, recognize his talent, and don’t want him on the team. If the Knicks already had a really solid successful, drama-free organization I’d feel differently about taking on a potentially very distracting and disruptive guy. Till they get there I think they’re wise to stick with the kind of guys they’ve been targeting.

  116. I have nothing against Lawson, wish him well, recognize his talent, and don’t want him on the team. If the Knicks already had a really solid successful, drama-free organization I’d feel differently about taking on a potentially very distracting and disruptive guy. Till they get there I think they’re wise to stick with the kind of guys they’ve been targeting.

    Spot on. No doubt Lawson is a really solid PG, but considering one of the reasons we moved on players last season was for a culture change. I don’t think bringing in a guy with 2 DUI’s in 6 months is such a hot idea. No doubt he could be had for a good deal, but I don’t think it’s a risk we should be taking at this point in time.

  117. This is the first time any Knick team has won 3-in-a-row since January 19th.

    I’ve not made up my mind about a freebee on Lawson. He has talent. Do we need a head case? Phil might want to confer with Afflalo.

  118. Not sure how a dui, or even two in a relatively short period, necessarily means that a guy will be a negative for the culture Jackson is trying to build.

    I would be more concerned by Lawson’s lackadaisical approach and utter disregard for defense for large portions of most games. That’s what impacts culture, though it’s possible there is some overlap between Lawson’s effort on the floor and attitude off of it.

    His game is entirely dependent on his speed and so I don’t think he’s very long for the league. He’d be worth a look as a reclamation project of sorts, but I highly doubt he’d be a part of the Knicks 3 year plan.

  119. Next game Thursday at 1:30 vs winner of Sacramento vs Golden State. Knicks get a bye in the double elimination tourney.

  120. @209
    I’m sure you know better than I, but I was guessing what effect he’d be likely to have based on the commentary of people like Billups who I assume knows him and knows his impact on the team. Repeated DUIs in combination with ill-advised tweets does create a distraction. Maybe not a disaster but something that would probably take on a life of its own in the NYC media and continue a long legacy of unprofessional BS associated with the team. Beyond that though, it seems like people who know him regard him as a seriously negative influence to an extent that it threatens to overshadow what he adds in talent. Do you think he doesn’t have that rep or that it’s not deserved?

  121. Karl really tried to push Lawson’s buttons the first couple of years, turn him into a star, and it nearly worked, but Ty did not have a reputation as a distraction or malcontent.

    Whatever is purportedly going on w/him seems to have happened post-GK, which may or may not be a coincidence.

    I had never heard of any issues with Lawson that are abnormal.

    Denver is a fishbowl. The downtown scene, which is great, simply doesn’t have many high profile African-Americans, or black people in general, relative to most NBA cities.

    I would postulate that’s why the Broncos and Nuggets have seeming disproportionately high rates of athletes breaking the law.

  122. I think Lawson would be much less likely to get in trouble in NYC, though it may seem counterintuitive, whether that would resolve the issue, I have no idea.

  123. Lawson was arrested for this latest DUI in Los Angeles and not Denver, so I don’t know what the Denver “fishbowl” has to do with it. He was pulled over on the 101 freeway after leaving a club in Hollywood, so I don’t know about that whole theory that he wouldn’t get in trouble in NYC.

  124. N’dour was giving me a Taj Gibson vibe and then I looked up Taj’s measurables from the combine and they have the same wingspan and standing reach. Taj has him by .5″ and was 14 lbs heavier. He was also basically 2 years older than N’dour at the time(combine/portsmouth), I didn’t realize Gibson came into the league as a 25 y/o.

    Anyway, i really like what N’dour has shown and his college numbers look good too. I wonder what his stats look like against the tough teams? If he can get stronger he might be able to grow into a guy that can play a little small ball 5.

  125. I know Summer league performance is hardly a sound basis for personnel decisions, but Ndour really is standing our on a number of levels. At worst, he fits in with the culture that signing Lance Thomas and Louis Amundson is intended to build. At best, he is a young, tall wing that can handle small doses of rotation minutes right off the bat and will develop into a really good player.

    I don’t want to go overboard, but it was great to see Ndour, Grant, Cle, Gallo and Zinger scrap for these wins. There’s a refreshing defensive energy about them that I hope translates to the big team.

  126. Well isn’t it less likely for him to get in dui trouble because NY ain’t a driving city and there’s almost never a time where you need to get on a highway, especially late at night? That coupled with being rich and being able to hire a driver or call a cab at will.

  127. Lawson might only get in Grant’s way. I guess at the exception we’d have to do it, his stats are pretty damn good. He’d at least be a marketable asset for a team that needed a PG mid-season.

    Jason Kidd had that awful DWI episode in the Hamptons right after we signed him. Not good, but most forgave him as soon as he started playing well.

    If Phil puts a product out there this year that plays the way the SL group is playing (i.e. balls out) but loses 50 games while the young guys develop, I can totally live with it.

  128. Well isn’t it less likely for him to get in dui trouble because NY ain’t a driving city and there’s almost never a time where you need to get on a highway, especially late at night? That coupled with being rich and being able to hire a driver or call a cab at will.

    I’m pretty sure most professional teams these days hire drivers that are on call 24/7 to prevent their athletes from getting DUI’s. Add in the emergence of Uber. Unfortunately it seems that Lawson is just a donkey.

  129. Not really feeling the Lawson love here. Yes getting him at the vet’s minimum or room exception would be great value, but we literally just drafted a player with roughly the same skill set, and have 2 other small guards on the roster (not that Galloway should prevent us from signing anyone). Ruru would know better than me, but there definitely feels like there may be other non-DUI-related off court issues with him– Lawson was one of the crew that froze out Brian Shaw — cannot imagine that Phil would sign someone that was partially responsible for the humiliating end of Shaw’s first HC job.

  130. Yeah, I don’t think he’s great for the “culture” we’re building or whatever, but Phil has worked with head-cases in the past, and I just don’t think you can pass him up at the room exception. Grant still would get his time–you just let someone else rot/play from the second unit (calderon?). Or you can have Grant head the second unit.

Comments are closed.