Summer League: Game Five Thoughts
The final buzzer sounded on the Las Vegas Summer League with a wild 109-107 win in OT. Despite playing without rookie sensation John Wall, the Wiz found themselves up 20 in the 2nd half, led by D-League stars, Lester Hudson and Cartier Martin, as well as rookie Kevin Palmer. But the Knicks put on a spirited comeback, getting , you know, actual stops, forcing turnovers and stuff.
Here are a few sentences on some key players, with game 5 numbers in parentheses. First, the guys with the best shot to be on the roster (in no particular order)…
Fields – (14pts, 2asts, 4rebs in 29:31) The kid was all over the floor. He looks the way you want a first round pick, much less a 2nd round pick, to look in summer league; like one of the best players on the floor at any given time. With Azubuike possibly injured to start the season, Fields’ versatility and energy may be needed.
Walker – (11pts, 1ast, 4rebs in 21:34) He never looked like he got his legs in Vegas in the games I saw. My big fear is that the bad habits on D didn’t melt away with the extra lbs.
Douglas – (19pts, 6asts, 3rebs, 2stls in 27:08) Douglas is turning into an excellent “true” combo guard (part-time PG, part-time SG). He’s not Nash on the screen and roll or Kidd on the break, but all things considered he’s pretty valuable.
Rautins – (3pts, 2asts, 2rebs in 20:54) It troubles me a little that he never got double figures despite having a green light. The stroke looks great coming off his hand, but I sense he has trouble getting free. Let’s see if D’Antoni’s sets help him get open during pre-season.
Jordan – (6pts, 0asts, 3rebs in 15:46) Summer league is difficult for all but the best big men. So, this was a chance to see the skill set. Jordan brings things to the table athletically; good hands, good feet, fluidity. But, he needs to add strength. Luckily, Walsh sees Jordan for the project that he is.
Now the other guys…
Lyons – (21pts, 2asts, 2rebs, 2stls in 21) Lyons had played well in limited minutes, but had a coming out game today. He was the “Good Leo” recognizable to Missouri fans; the guy who drives for and-1s and hits open shots consistently to 18 feet. Unfortunately, he’s still a 3/4 tweener without the functional strength to play the 4. He injured his shoulder on his last play trying to go up-and-under on a center to get to the FT line. He couldn’t even budge the guy and his shoulder just gave way. Hopefully he showed enough to get an invite to a camp, but more likely its back overseas.
Landry – (12pts, 1ast, 4rebs in 12:09) Marcus was solid in the hustle areas, as we would expect. He also got to the line. Unfortunately, as Mike alluded to in a previous post, I can’t see him earning a roster spot in NY, but he could very well stick with a team looking for a defense-first wing.
Part-time blogger on the Knicks at Knickerblogger.net and Seahawks at FieldGulls.com. In my free time I hang out at the University of South Carolina and occasionally fill thirsty young minds with knowledge about various and sundry things related to consumer behavior and marketing.