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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Summer League Recap: Hornets 82, Knicks 79

The SummerKnicks are undefeated no more after falling 82-79 to the SummerHornets Saturday afternoon. Like the majority of Summer League games, this game wasn’t pretty. TGe  shot a gruesome 22.7 percent from beyond the arc and 34.9 percent overall, but still managed to keep it close thanks to a fairly dominant starting-five unit.

The Good:

Tim Hardaway Jr. led all scores (yes, again) with 27 points on 20 field goal attempts, but he wasn’t just gunning from deep this afternoon, though, as the second-year wing made a number of pretty drives and cuts to draw a couple of 3-point plays inside.

As previously mentioned, the Larkin-THJ-Early-Tyler-Henriquez quintet had a combined plus/minus of +54 in this game. When one cog was removed from this beastly machine, things fell apart pretty quickly.

I’m convinced Shane Larkin is spending his free time in Vegas watching nothing but Pablo Prigioni film from the last two seasons. Larkin registered a team-high three steals and kept the SummerHornets on their toes all game long. He still didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, just 5-of-14 from the field, but he was all over the place, grabbing rebounds, attempting circus passes, and possibly cleaning up at the blackjack tables. He’s our Hunter S. Thompson Game MVP, because he did pretty much everything. I’m not saying he ingested pure adrenochrome, but then again…

Cleanthony Early has been the SummerKnicks second-best player, despite a lack of gaudy numbers. Best of all, he showed he’s probably ready to contribute at the NBA level right out of the gate. He is just a really smart basketball player that picks his spots on the floor to shoot extremely well, can crash the boards (10  today!) and he works his ass off on both ends of the floor. I’m all in on the Early-Should-Be-In-The-Rotation-From-Day-One train. For the 34th pick in the draft, that’s all you can ask.

The Bad:

The Knicks of Summer’s front court struggled again without the irresistible object that is Cole Aldrich protecting the rim. The Bugs got to the line 26 times, converted 22 of those chances and generally made life tough for the Tyler and company.

The Knicks added another big this week, Jason Smith and thus the odds of Jeremy Tyler making the big-league roster got a tad slimmer this week, so he REALLY needed to have a big last hurrah in Vegas. That didn’t happen. He shot just 3-of-12 from the floor, and once again just didn’t look exactly fluid in the geometrically-shaped offense

Shannon Brown, Heroball Gawd.

Clyde Quote Of The Game:

Bye SummerKnicks, you were surprisingly cool and fun. Hope against hope that the RealKnicks pick up where y’all left off.

21 comments on “Summer League Recap: Hornets 82, Knicks 79

  1. Z-man

    Tyler is puzzling. He does a lot of really good things, e.g. rebounds, draws charges, hits the face-up 18-footer. He does a lot of bad things, e.g. brings the ball down on rebounds, commits dumb fouls, gets lost on D. Since he’s cheap and 23, I’d love to keep him around. He’s got the prototypical PF body–power, length, athleticism–and a pretty good motor.

  2. ephus

    IIRC, Tyler is on a non-guaranteed deal. That makes him prime trade fodder to be folded into a deal with a team that is looking to reduce its cap number.

    There are more contenders for roster spots than there are roster spots:
    1. Carmelo Anthony
    2. Amar’e Stoudemire
    3. Andrea Bargnani
    4. Cole Aldrich
    5. Jason Smith
    6. Jeremy Tyler (non-guaranteed)
    7. Sam Dalembert (non-guaranteed)
    8. Cleanthony Early (not signed yet)
    9. Metta World Peace (???)
    10. Jose Calderon
    11. Pablo Prigioni
    12. Shane Larkin
    13. Iman Shumpert
    14. JR Smith
    15. Tim Hardaway Jr.
    16. Wayne Ellington
    17. Shannon Brown (not signed yet)
    18. Greek Frequel (not signed yet)
    19. Langston Galloway (???)

  3. nicos

    Do they need to make a decision on Tyler by August 1? If so, my guess is they waive him but offer him a training camp invite- he played well enough last year (especially before hurting his hand) to earn that. I think he can be a decent enough offensive guy provided he hits his free throws better than he did last year but I really wonder about his defense- his rotations can be very Amar’e-ish at times. He’s still only 23 so unless you can get someone who’s definitely going to contribute this year he’s probably worth keeping around as an end of the bench guy.
    Other than Tyler and Early (and obviously Larkin, THJ and Cole) I’m not sure any of these guys get invites- maybe Henriquez who looks like he has some defensive potential and Thanasis who really didn’t do anything to deserve an invite other than trying very, very hard.

  4. KJG

    On a team with as many stiffs as this one, Tyler’s attitude and energy are refreshing… I expect that there’s no room for such enthusiasm however…bringing melo back has diminished all potential excitement down the road…that mf’er was waiting around for something to happen and when nothing happened he took his money…another stiff…May god or the gods help us all

  5. JK47

    I would say the roster locks are Melo, Stat, Bargs, Dalembert, Shump, JR, Jason Smith, Aldrich, Calderon, Prigs, THJ and Larkin. That’s 12 guys. Wayne Ellington and Cleanthony seem like good bets, so that’s 14. That leaves five guys on ephus’ list fighting for that last spot: MWP, Tyler, Shannon Brown, Thanasis and Galloway.

    Thanasis probably belongs in Westchester. Shannon Brown is pretty redundant when you look at all the guards on the roster, and was not good in summer league. Galloway is probably a long shot to stick as 15th man. So that leaves MWP vs. Tyler. MWP was pretty terrible last year, but I do think he could have some value (mostly on the defensive end of course) if he is used correctly. Jeremy Tyler seems like he’s been around forever but he’s still just 23 and can do a few things. I’d be cool with either of those two as 15th man.

  6. Donnie Walsh

    Thanasis probably belongs in Westchester.

    Are rosters still limited to 15 players? (in the past, the DLeague was only for guys on your 15 man roater if you wanted to retain their rights)

  7. Z-man

    Thanasis is super raw and shouldn’t make the roster. Galloway and Henriquez are at best mid-level D-league guys. MWP is pretty done and half nuts.

    Also, maybe K-Mart is healthy enough to be considered.

  8. yellowboy90

    I thought Brown was on a 2yr deal but the option needs to be picked up. However his non-guaranteed contract needs to be traded or cut. At his age you would think he would be destroying summer league but he plays like he belongs in the d-league.

    Did Peace go to Germany and have his knees repaired because he looked like he looked stiff as a board and his fade away shots were too annoying.

  9. yellowboy90

    Also, maybe K-Mart is healthy enough to be considered.

    I think K-mart could be useful but he needs to be a late year add so his ankles do not break down. Maybe they can get him a Baron Davis type role and keep him around the team and then bring him back later. I am sure that is not legal but what can the league office say if Kenyon “changes” his mind and wants to continue playing ball right before the playoffs.

  10. ephus

    Take a look at what OKC is doing with Josh Huestis. I am sure that the NBA Front Office will.

    http://newsok.com/oklahoma-city-thunder-why-josh-huestis-might-become-the-nbas-first-domestic-draft-and-stash-player/article/5006034/?page=2

    This has all the hallmarks of circumvention. OKC cannot promise to make Huestis whole in the future in return for his agreeing to take a D-League contract now. If Huestis was tendered a first round contract and refused it, it would be in Joe Smith territory. If Huestis was not tendered a first round contract, he should be a free agent.

    The situation is different for second round picks like Thanasis Antentokoumpo, but not entirely. Second round picks do not get guaranteed contracts, so it would not be suspicious for the Knicks not to tender him a contract. It would be better for the Knicks if Greek Frequel stayed in Westchester, but he certainly could make more money in Europe. In either circumstance, the Knicks would continue to hold his draft rights.

  11. Hugo Busto

    Yeah, the OKC situation is very fishy. Just another example of them being extreme cheap skates. Still don’t understand how they haven’t amnestied Perkins.

  12. Brian Cronin

    Are rosters still limited to 15 players? (in the past, the DLeague was only for guys on your 15 man roater if you wanted to retain their rights)

    Rosters are still limited to 15 players. However, the Knicks don’t have to give Thanasis an NBA deal since he is a second round pick. SO they can keep him on the D-League team and still own his rights without him actually being on their roster. He might not like that idea, though, and prefer making more money in Europe.

  13. 2FOR18

    I hope Tyler makes the roster. Early can play the MWP role and doesn’t need a cane. As much youth, athleticism and enthusiasm as possible please! Which leads to…..
    Unless it somehow hurts next year’s cap situation, I would cut Bargs and keep Frequel.

  14. Z-man

    Probably injury risk. He’s a fourth year player with a sure thing roster spot, very unusual to see those in summer league. He has some things to work on, but can do so in other ways.

    Okay, so 2 1/2 months until training camp. As presently constructed, the team definitely has some talent gaps, but hopefully the players are going to heed Jax and work their asses off. Hardaway and Aldrich are looking great. Cleanthony is not really an NBA player yet, but now he knows what he needs to work on (putting on muscle and ball handling are the two most obvious) and all indications are that he’s a tireless worker.

    Everyone has talked about Miami and the chip they have on their shoulders. Hopefully the Knicks will have a similar attitude. Shump has a lot to prove. Amare is in a contract year and at the end of his prime; this is his last rodeo as a prime time player, and if his knees allow him to, he could make some noise. JR finished strongly last year. Calderon is a big step up from Felton. Fisher should be a big step up from Woodson. Dalembert+Smith+Aldrich is better than Chandler+Bargnani+no Aldrich.

  15. yellowboy90

    I think I would rather him be practicing with the team instead of the Pro-Am stuff he is doing especially after I saw the picture of the fall he took attempting a layup/dunk. I get that being a 4th year 1st rounder would have been an image hit but the guy needs to be around the staff imo. It is what it is though and I guess the staff didn’t deem it necessary.

  16. The Prescient Cock Jowles

    Are we actually trying to figure out why a guy who has started 138 out of 178 of his career games is not playing in the Summer League?

    I mean, yeah, I’m trying to figure out why Chris Andersen is skipping Summer League as well, especially since he could really use some work on his floor spacing. Maybe Andre Miller can go for conditioning purposes. Jordan? Everyone needs practice.

  17. ephus

    Are we actually trying to figure out why a guy who has started 138 out of 178 of his career games is not playing in the Summer League?

    Because James Dolan is no longer sitting over basketball operations. Remember that last summer, Dolan was reported to want to trade Shumpert because he did not play the full schedule in Las Vegas. That made even less sense when it turned out that Shumpert had clean up surgery on his knee after the Summer League.

  18. Z

    Why was Shump not involved in SL this year?…I get that being a 4th year 1st rounder would have been an image hit but the guy needs to be around the staff imo.

    Wait, this was a serious question? I thought you were making a funny joke.

    Do you not remember Shump at last year’s summer league? It was pretty much the beginning of the end of the Knicks’ season…

    http://nypost.com/2013/07/17/stephen-a-slip-knicks-dolan-wanted-to-trade-shumpert-because-of-summer-league-flap/

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