2010 Summer League Schedule Released

Knicks Summer League Schedule in Las Vegas.
[All Times listed are local Las Vegas time.]

Sunday July 11
COX Pavilion
1 PM – New York vs. Denver

Monday July 12
COX Pavilion
1 PM – LA Lakers vs. New York

Wednesday July 14
COX Pavilion
3 PM – New York vs. Toronto

Friday July 16
COX Pavilion
1 PM – Detroit vs. New York

Saturday July 17
COX Pavilion
1 PM – New York vs. Washington

And the full list…

Friday July 9
COX Pavilion
1 PM – Denver vs. Dallas
3 PM – Houston vs. Phoenix
5 PM – Detroit vs. LA Lakers
7 PM – Golden State vs. New Orleans

Saturday July 10
COX Pavilion
1 PM – Toronto vs. Phoenix
3 PM – LA Lakers vs. Denver
5 PM – Detroit vs. Golden State
7 PM – Dallas vs. Houston

Sunday July 11
COX Pavilion
1 PM – New York vs. Denver
3 PM – Portland vs. Houston
5 PM – Washington vs. Golden State
7 PM – Miami vs. New Orleans

Monday July 12
COX Pavilion
1 PM – LA Lakers vs. New York
3 PM – Sacramento vs. Detroit
5 PM – Dallas vs. Milwaukee
7 PM – Washington vs. LA Clippers
Thomas & Mack
3:30 PM – San Antonio vs. Minnesota
5:30 PM – Phoenix vs. NBA D-League
7:30 PM – Memphis vs. Atlanta

Tuesday July 13
COX Pavilion
1 PM – Denver vs. Chicago
3 PM – Cleveland vs. NBA D-League
5 PM – Milwaukee vs. Memphis
7 PM – Portland vs. New Orleans
Thomas & Mack
3:30 PM – Houston vs. Toronto
5:30 PM – Sacramento vs. LA Lakers
7:30 PM – Golden State vs. Miami

Wednesday July 14
COX Pavilion
1 PM – Denver vs. Houston
3 PM – New York vs. Toronto
5 PM – LA Clippers vs. Chicago
7 PM – Sacramento vs. Minnesota
Thomas & Mack
3:30 PM – Atlanta vs. San Antonio
5:30 PM – Cleveland vs. Phoenix
7:30 PM – Detroit vs. Miami

Thursday July 15
COX Pavilion
1 PM – LA Lakers vs. San Antonio
3 PM – Golden State vs. Phoenix
5 PM – Washington vs. Dallas
7 PM – LA Clippers vs. Portland
Thomas & Mack
5:30 PM – Atlanta vs. Milwaukee
7:30 PM – NBA D-League vs. Memphis

Friday July 16
COX Pavilion
1 PM – Detroit vs. New York
3 PM – Toronto vs. Sacramento
5 PM – Washington vs. New Orleans
7 PM – Memphis vs. Minnesota
Thomas & Mack
5:30 PM – Cleveland vs. Chicago
7:30 PM – Milwaukee vs. Miami

Saturday July 17
COX Pavilion
1 PM – New York vs. Washington
3 PM – Miami vs. Cleveland
5 PM – LA Clippers vs. San Antonio
7 PM – Minnesota vs. Portland
Thomas & Mack
3:30 PM – Toronto vs. New Orleans
5:30 PM – Sacramento vs. Chicago
7:30 PM – NBA D-League vs. Atlanta

Sunday July 18
COX Pavilion
1 PM – Cleveland vs. Milwaukee
3 PM – Chicago vs. Portland
5 PM – Dallas vs. Sacramento
Thomas & Mack
1:30 PM – San Antonio vs. Memphis
3:30 PM – Atlanta vs. Minnesota
5:30 PM – LA Clippers vs. NBA D-League


Interview With Donnie Walsh

Before the 11/6/09 Cleveland game I was able to ask Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh a few questions.

Mike Kurylo It seems like the team is struggling from three, except for Gallinari. In the preseason you had a few guys like Joe Crawford and Morris Almond who could knock down the three…

Mike D’Antoni Morris Almond was never in the preseason… He was in the summer league.

Mike Kurylo I’m sorry you’re right summer league. Are there any thought of bringing in another shooting guard?

Mike D’Antoni No.

Mike Kurylo Do you …

Donnie Walsh Where are you from?

Mike Kurylo KnickerBlogger.Net. It seems that there are a lot of guys that are free agents at the end of the year on your own team. So just by chance you may have a lot of roster spots open.

Donnie Walsh You’re wrong.

Mike Kurylo OK. I’m sorry for assuming.

Donnie Walsh That’s what’s happening. You’re writing what you think. I like the players on my own team.

Mike Kurylo But it seems that by chance some guys will just sign with another team. For instance if you have 7 free agents, it’s possible that you may only be able to resign 3 or 4. So I was wondering if you were looking at other avenues of signing players.

Donnie Walsh Of course.

Mike Kurylo Where are you looking? Are you looking in the D-League or in Europe?

Donnie Walsh All of the above.

Mike Kurylo How do stats fit into the picture with your scouting? Do you use them half and half or do you rely mostly on scouting?

Donnie Walsh I umm… [to Larry Johnson] Hey Larry how are you? It’s good to have you here.

LJ: Look at you always working.

Mike Kurylo So my question is: How do stats fit into the picture?

Donnie Walsh I don’t know quite what you mean. Am I impressed at how many point a guy scores per game? No.

Mike Kurylo How about other stats like …

Donnie Walsh If a guy is averaging 30 points per game and a scout calls me up and says this guy is the real deal, then I’ll go watch him.

Mike Kurylo What stats are you looking at? Are you looking at true shooting percentage and any of the newer stats?

Donnie Walsh Of course we’ve got all of that.

Mike Kurylo Are you familiar with John Hollinger or Dave Berri…

Donnie Walsh I’m not overly impressed if his true shooting percentage [is X] and that means something. It’s part of the picture.

Mike Kurylo I’m a big stat guy and I feel like in baseball that 80-90 percent of a player’s value is captured in stats, in my opinion. But in basketball it doesn’t seem to be as reliable.

Donnie Walsh Because basketball is a 5-man game that has to be played together. You’re not just getting [up to the plate] to hit a baseball.

Mike Kurylo Basketball is not a one-on-one game. And the defensive stats in basketball, blocks and steals, just don’t cover what happens on that end. Someone like Bruce Bowen…

Donnie Walsh You know it’s very difficult to [quantify this]. Coaches try to do it. They come up with deflections and challenges and different stats to determine who is doing a good job defensively. But you can see that by watching. You’re right. A guy that blocks shots may be good or bad [defensively].

[Inaudible due to loud music – but Donnie and I talked about a defensive scoresheet.]

Donnie Walsh Look I don’t think gut instinct is foolproof and I don’t think stats are foolproof. I think a combination of different things [are best.] We do a lot of checking and try to get as good picture we can of the guy.

2010 Season Preview: Optimist vs Pessimist

Optimist: Ready for another year of exciting basketball?

Pessimist: Ready to get another beating this year?

Optimist: What do you mean?

Pessimist: Well every year you make these wild predictions about the Knicks, and every year I kick your butt in.

Optimist: The last time we did this 2 years ago I predicted 43 wins, and the Knicks won 23, but that’s ancient history. I’ve learned from my mistakes, and feel confident about this year. Don’t you?

Pessimist: Um, never.

Optimist: Look at it from the bright side. Last year’s team won 32 games, and this team has a lot more going for it. The roster alone is deeper. Milicic, Hill, and Douglas are new additions, then add in a healthy Gallinari and a trimmed down Eddy Curry and you have to admit the team is a lot deeper, no?

Pessimist: Darko Milicic? He’s 24 and has been on 4 different teams already. Can anyone tell me what Jordan Hill does well? From what I saw this summer, he’s a power forward that’s shies from contact and likes to shoot hooks & jumpers. Douglas is a combo guard that shot 28.8% eFG in the summer league (including an arctic 9.1% from downtown). Gallo already has back problems, and a “trimmed down” Eddy Curry? Isn’t that like a suped up Ford Tempo?

Optimist: Easy there Pessy. Listen Darko will protect the paint. Hill will give some rebounding and outside shooting. Douglas can defend too and run the offense. Gallo is going to be the next Nowitzki. And Curry is going to score a ton in the paint. And anyway those 5 guys aren’t the core of the team, just some extra help. Lots of bench players in the league have faults.

Pessimist: Faults? The Knicks’ bench is like San Andreas. Which reminds me I have update my earthquake insurance.

Optimist: Earthquake insurance in New York City? With those kinds of prediction abilities, how do I lose to you every year? Anyway, the Knicks had lots of guys shuffling in & out last year. Crawford, Randolph, Collins, Roberson, Rose, Tim Thomas, and Jerome James, not to mention all the NBDL guys (Crawford, Sims, Nichols, Samb, and Sene). Certainly this year’s roster will be more stable.

Pessimist: Perhaps. But who is to say that Donnie won’t pull the trigger to shed some more contracts. Curry and Jeffries will be gone if Walsh receives a half decent deal (at least you’d hope so). And the Knicks don’t have a draft pick to sweeten the pot, so they’ll have to throw someone in like Chandler, Gallo, or Hill.

Optimist: Wait a second, you’re saying getting rid of Curry or Jeffries would be a bad thing? Let’s just see how things pan out before dumping on Walsh. Donnie has been pretty shrewd with deals so far.

Pessimist: Like Balkman & Von Wafer?

Optimist: No like getting rid of Randolph & Crawford. You have to admit he’s been good with regards to shedding contracts & having a long term plan.

Pessimist: How about not getting the #5 pick for Jeffries & Chandler? And not sending Jeffries and Nate to Sacramento?

Optimist: Those are just rumors. Nobody really believes those.

Pessimist: *aheam*

Optimist: OK almost nobody.

Pessimist: I think the knock on Walsh is whether he’s a good evaluator of talent. Say what you will about Balkman, but there’s no doubt that Von Wafer could have helped this team last year. The Knicks were starving for a shooting guard last year, had Wafer on their summer league team, and the next thing you know Wafer was starting for the Rockets. This year the team still needs a shooting guard, they had Morris Almond on their summer league team, and … need I say more?

Optimist: C’mon, you’re killing Walsh for Balkman, Wafer, and Almond? I’m not too concerned with the end of bench guys. D’Antoni isn’t likely to play them anyway.

Pessimist: What about Jordan Hill? He didn’t look all that great in summer, and I don’t see him breaking the rotation this year.

Optimist: That just shows how deep the team is. See you’re making my point for me. Anyway, Let’s move on to the offense. You have to admit that the Knicks will be better on offense this season. It’s the second year of D’Antoni’s offense so the players will be more acclimated to the system…

Pessimist: … Got any proof that players do better in the same offense?

Optimist: No, but it sounds right. Add in a full season from Gallinari. The guy hit 44% from three and 96% from the line. Give him more than 400 minutes and scoring will increase.

Pessimist: That’s the teenager with the bad back, right?

Optimist: Actually he’s 21 now.

Pessimist: You know Crawford played almost the same amount of minutes last year as a Knick, and hit 46% of his threes? Anyone can put up eye-catching numbers in limited minutes.

Optimist: He’s still young, and it’s realistic to think he’ll improve as he matures. The offense will improve this year?

Pessimist: And the defense?

Optimist: Darko Milicic, Jordan Hill, Toney Douglas are all defensive players …

Pessimist: First off none of those players are likely to see a lot of minutes. Curry, if he ever gets in shape, could push Darko for time so the Knicks can showcase him. And both of them will keep Jordan Hill on the bench. Toney Douglas will likely see time, but not if he’s shooting 20%. You have to admit the defense will be just as bad as last year.

Optimist: It won’t be worse and is likely to be better. Will you admit the offense will be better than last year?

Pessimist: Of course not.

Optimist: Time to put your money where your mouth is – how many wins are the Knicks getting in 2010?

Pessimist: I’m skeptical of the improvements. Hill shot pretty bad in the summer, Douglas shot worse, and Milicic has shot pretty bad his whole career. Eddy Curry is a turnover machine who doesn’t rebound on the defensive end. There’s still no true shooting guard. Number 8 overall pick Jordan Hill can compete against Wilson Chandler to see who shoots less free throws. I’ll go with 32 wins again.

Optimist: The team has definitely improved. They’ll top last year’s total and then some. The additions to the roster will help D’Antoni mix & match and won’t leave the team helpless when the inevitable injuries occur. Better seasons from Gallinari & Curry will only help the team. Continuity with the coaching staff is a plus as well. I’ll go with 38 wins.

Pessimist: Next you’re going to tell me they’re going to make the playoffs.

Optimist: 8th seed, which will be good enough to attract that kid from Ohio!

Hill Fails To Impress (& Knick Tidbits)

Knick fans that hoped the 2009 #8 pick would pay immediate dividends are going to be disappointed. Mike D’Antoni said Jordan Hill “got a ways to go” with regards to being NBA ready. A quote like this would be expected if New York grabbed a teenager from Europe like Ricky Rubio or Brandon Jennings. But Jordan Hill is 22, and spent 3 years in Arizona. Shouldn’t he be ready to contribute to the NBA now?

Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the Knicks recent power forward draftees. Channing Frye, like Hill, was 22 year old #8 overall pick from Arizona and managed an 18.1 PER in 1500+ minutes his first season. David Lee, taken in the same draft, had a 15.4 PER in 1100+ minutes that same year. The 9th overall pick in 2003, Mike Sweetney, was buried on the IR due to incompetent management. But he still was able to perform on an NBA level with a 17.2 PER his first season. Even Nene Hillario who was traded by the Knicks on draft day put up a PER of 15.4 in 2200+ minutes as a 20 year old rookie for Denver.

Hill’s defenders say he started playing basketball late, and that he’s still learning the game. But 2010 is a win now year, with the Knicks not owning their own pick in the upcoming draft. And Walsh didn’t really seem interested in spending money this summer to improve his team, even on his own players. The only trade they made this summer was for a backup center in Darko Milicic. So with no other avenues to improve the team now why would the Knicks take a player who was a project? Surely there was someone that was more ready to contribute this season (Blair seems the part, and Lawson had a nice preseason). Perhaps Walsh didn’t mind taking someone unpolished, but then he should have aimed for someone that was younger or had a bigger upside.

It sounds rough to be critical of a rookie before the season even starts. I can understand Hill not making the rotation, especially with the veterans ahead of him. But I would have liked to hear the coaching staff speak more positively of him. Maybe something along the lines of “he’s good, but he’s going to have to wait his turn.” Perhaps a better showing in either summer league or the preseason would allow me to look past his current state. I’m sure Hill will get some minutes at some point this year, and I can only hope that he can get some positive reviews for his on the court play.

Other News:

  • You can throw away any chance of Eddy Curry getting into the rotation early in the season to increase his trade value. Curry talked about his offseason conditioning publicly on Twitter, then hurt his foot in the first practice. Although it was initially thought that the injury wasn’t serious and he’d be back quickly, Eddy didn’t play in a single preseason game. The team has told Curry to not come back until he reaches a certain weight, implying that his summer regimen wasn’t as advertised. Curry threw away his 2009 season, and so far he’s on pace to do the same in 2010.
  • Not only are Eddy Curry and Jordan Hill out of the rotation, but it seems that Larry Hughes didn’t make the cut either. Hughes probably didn’t expect this to occur (he started 57 of 68 games in 2008, and 20 of 55 last year), and it’ll be interesting to see how he responds. Although the Knicks could afford to let someone like Stephon Marbury hang in the wind (especially considering Marbury’s actions after the team let him go), the front office and coaching staff could lose serious face if this situation gets that ugly.

    From a simple perspective it seems that Hughes was beaten out by Toney Douglas (and perhaps Danilo Gallinari) who are likely to eat the bulk of his minutes along with Nate Robinson. But it’s more likely that this is just coach D’Antoni going with his youngsters.

  • Looks like the Knicks have a new end of bench guy, for now. Marcus Landry replaces Joe Crawford (and Chris Hunter) as the Knicks rotate in a new 12th man yet again. Sorry if I’m indifferent on this signing, but New York seems to grab these guys and tend to never use them in a meaningful way. The best analogy I can come up with it my 2 year old who’ll snatch a toy the minute another child becomes interested in it, not really play with it, and then casually discard it when the next shiny thing comes along.
  • 2009 Toney Douglas Pre-Camp Interview

    I sat down with Toney Douglas on 9/28/09 for about 2 minutes and 37 seconds, and he was kind enough to answer my questions.

    Mike Kurylo: What position do you see yourself in the NBA, point guard, shooting guard or combo guard? 2009-interview-toney-douglas

    Toney Douglas: Point guard.

    Mike Kurylo: What did you learn about the NBA from playing in the summer league?

    Toney Douglas: In college there is a lot of help defense, but in the NBA [things are] more spaced out. One mistake and [you’ve given up a] bucket. I feel like in college you can just go fast [all the time], but in the NBA you have to pick & choose when to go fast.

    Mike Kurylo: What would you say is your greatest asset or skill?

    Toney Douglas: I feel like I’m able to run a team at the point guard position. I’m also able to score the ball. Whatever my coach asks me to do, I’m able to do [which will] make my teammates better. On the defensive end, I’m able to get in the passing lane. I’ve always had a knack for defense, and I feel I can change the game.

    Mike Kurylo: How do you get better on defense and practice defense?

    Toney Douglas: You have to practice it in practice, and you always have to stay in your stance. In the NBA, you lock your knees out or one mistake, it’s over. You always have to be aware of what’s going on if you’re on the ball or off the ball.

    Mike Kurylo: From what I saw in the summer league your passing looked really good, but it looked like you had a hard time finding your shot. What was wrong in the summer league, were you off or did you have a couple of bad games?

    Toney Douglas: I feel like my shot will be just fine, it was just summer league. I’m not worried about that and my coaches and my teammates are not worried about that. Since I’ve been here [training with the team] I’ve been just fine. It was just one of those weeks.

    Mike Kurylo: Did you feel comfortable passing the ball playing with new teammates?

    Toney Douglas: Most definitely I felt comfortable. One thing you have to be as the point guard and leader of the team you have to make everybody else feel comfortable by knowing what they can and can’t do.

    Mike Kurylo: Which of your new teammates are you looking forward to playing alongside with?

    Toney Douglas: Well, well, ummm, Jared [Jeffries], Chris [Duhon], Nate [Robinson], Gallo, all of them. I’m really looking forward to playing with them in the type of system we have.

    2009 Jordan Hill Pre-Camp Interview

    I sat down with Jordan Hill on 9/28/09 for about 3 minutes and 26 seconds, and he was kind enough to answer my questions.

    Mike Kurylo: What position do you see yourself playing in the NBA, power forward, center or a little bit of both? 2009-interview-jordan-hill

    Jordan Hill: It really doesn’t matter. I see myself as a power forward, but it really doesn’t matter. Whatever the team needs me to be, at I have to go out there and make the best of it.

    Mike Kurylo: What did you learn about adjusting to the NBA from summer league?

    Jordan Hill: D’Antoni’s system is up & down and I was definitely out of shape during the summer league. I’ve been working really hard to get back in shape, and now I’m there.

    Mike Kurylo: How do you get in shape in the offseason?

    Jordan Hill: Definitely you have to eat right, I’ve been running hills, running on the football field, sweating more, lifting weights, doing the things that you should do to get in shape.

    Mike Kurylo: Do you have a personal trainer, do you go to a gym, or …

    Jordan Hill: No, I know what to do. I do everything myself. During the summer I worked out with [one of the Knick trainers] who helped a lot. And I listened to the trainers in here, and they helped me out tremendously.

    Mike Kurylo: Which of your teammates are you looking forward to playing alongside with?

    Jordan Hill: Umm… Chris Duhon…(laughs)

    Mike Kurylo: Because he’s going to get you the ball?

    Jordan Hill: Exactly.

    Mike Kurylo: What is your best asset or skill as a player?

    Jordan Hill: Probably rebounding. I try to stay focused on rebounding. I know I can score at will, but it’s better to get that extra rebound when your team needs it. I love rebounding and fighting hard [for one].

    Mike Kurylo: How do you see yourself fitting in with the frontcourt here? There are a lot of guys this year. Is there a friendly competition playing for minutes?

    Jordan Hill: It’s good. It’s real fun [competing] because they’re definitely good players. I just want to come out here and learn from them. They’ve been here, they know the system. I just want to take their advice and learn more about the game.

    Mike Kurylo: What part of D’Antoni’s offense, that you’ve seen in practice or in the summer league, do you like best?

    Jordan Hill: Probably the pick & rolls and the up & down game. I love the pick & roll. I can pick & pop and shoot the easy mid range shot, which has gotten a whole lot better. Or I can pick & roll and get the easy dunk. I just have to look at the defense, and know what [my role is].

    Who Will Make the Knicks in 2010?

    With not much else Knick related going on, my mind has wandered to the end of the bench. It goes without saying that last year’s team wasn’t very deep. However this year Eddy Curry could see a role in D’Antoni’s rotation, as well as summer acquisition Darko Milicic. Danilo Gallinari will likely see more than the 400 injury filled minutes of last year. Add rookies Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas to the mix, and the Knicks have a much deeper roster this year.

    But still there are a few spots up for grabs at the end of the bench. Currently Joe Crawford and Chris Hunter are officially on the roster, but it’s possible that they won’t still be on the team by opening day. If they are replaced, they could be removed in favor of one of New York’s summer league participants. Morris Almond and Nikoloz Tskitishvili played well in the summer, but the Knicks also had their eye on Blake Ahearn and Mouhamed Sene.

    So who do you think will contribute the most to the Knicks in 2010?