6:05 PM: The Houston team we crushed yesterday just got doe beating the Nuggets, Chase Budinger with a big game. Box.
We’re coming from Cox Pavillion. Walt Frazier is the color-man for this game so we should learn some good vocabulary tonight, we’ll keep an eye on it. So far he’s dropped “lethal touch”, “physicality”, and “agility” on a guy who’s not going to make it past Monday. Dan D’Antoni is the Knicks head coach. Eric Hughes commandeers the Raps.
Knicks are: Walker, Powell, Jordan, Rautins, Douglas
Raptors are: Weems, Davis, Dorsey, DeRozan, B. Brown
1st 5:54 13-9 Raps: Raptors start off with DeRozan using the post-up to fake the fade and lean under. It’s the old Jordan move which now Kobe uses, think playing with Kobe the other day had some influence on him? DeRozan’s attacking the rim every single time, got blocked once, got fouled twice, scored once, and missed once. Andy Rautins has the green light here, he’s hoisting up without a conscience, missed one badly off a screen but hit one after Weems got wiped out with the screen. Weems is also looking for his offense and has floated in twice for scores and hit a three. For the second game in a row, he’s showed some range we didn’t think he had. Frazier describes him as “prolific”. Knicks have hit three threes to lead it by one early.
1st 3:46 21-18 Raps: The Knicks are underestimating Dorsey’s rebounding prowess. Right now he’s able to get whatever he wants and his latest work includes getting an easy offensive rebound, zipping a nice pass which eventually led to two DeRozan FTs. I’m going to go ahead and say that Dorsey has good basketball IQ. If Dorsey’s bringing the physical angle, Weems is bringing it on the break. Weems finishes a reverse-layup which made his athleticism seem only too evident, the Raptors on the break are just great to watch. Weems sets up Dorsey for an And1 in transition (yes, Dorsey runs the break) earning a description of “auspicious” from Frazier. Ed Davis finally touched the ball, he’s almost a forgotten man right now with DeRozan and Weems
hogging dominating. Knicks are in it because of their threes, they’re the types you would gladly give up in a game since they’re of the deep kind and come early in the clock.
Marcus Landry and Landry Fields showing something for the Knicks on offense, which happens to be very one-on-one and has a distinct quick-fire D’Antoni take to it. I know I sound like a broken record, but DeRozan’s bringing it in the aggressiveness department. He’s not even looking to shoot a jumper. I do wish Weems/DeRozan would take it a little easy and give Ed Davis a touch or two.
Walt Frazier says that tweeners have a tough time making it in the NBA even though they dominated in college. He’s giving an example of the Raptors’ Ronald Dupree, who was a pretty good player in Louisiana State. Cheikh Samb’s in the game for the Raptors, a 7’1″ center from Senegal, very big guy but can’t do much. Example? Couldn’t finish from 1 feet out.
End of 1, 34-31 Knicks: Solomon Alabi attempted a post-move which looked very much like a travel, his offensive game is years away. The game has definitely died down because of the scrappy offense and DeRozan’s effort on defense has dropped. Landry Fields went at him for a score too easily, but maybe that’s because DeRozan was still celebrating a big dunk after picking up an errant Dupree pass on the weak-side. Still not seeing much of Ed Davis, the Raptors need to use this time to get him going.
We got an Ed Davis move! A 5-foot jump-hook which he banks in. We need to more of these possessions, forget about the score or even getting back on defense, just give Davis 10 possessions to work with in this quarter.
2nd 5:14, 46-41 Raps: Bobby “Showtime” Brown with a steal and a behind-the-back dribble for the layup as Rautins misses another three only JJ Redick should be allowed to take. I made this point yesterday too, but Alabi simply cannot defend a screen set anywhere beyond the elbow, his angles are completely wrong and he gives the guard total advantage. And he’s getting his rebounds via tip-toeing again. Weems and DeRozan are hoisting it, but in between that we’ve seen what Ed Davis can do. A very athletic finish where he had to control and contort his body to find the rim, and then he draws the double after the deep-post and zips an interior pass for a score. A deep DeRozan three gives the Raptors a five point lead before Andy Rautins hoists a three from 26 feet which hits back-rim. Does this guy have anything more than missed threes in his game?
2nd 2:46 51-46 Raps: DeRozan’s increased his range. Last year he had a lot of arm-strength in his shot and he’s trying to shift it to the legs, hence the increased range. He’s hit two threes which looked effortless, now, they were wide open but if he can translate that technique into his mid-range game, watch out. He also squared up nicely on his corner three, maybe something he learned from Weems? Fan-favorite Michael Roll scores a hoop as the announcers talk to Anthony Randolph of the Knicks who says he’s excited about the Knicks’ future but doesn’t look it. I’m not sure how far off Michael Roll is from being a Jason Kapono or Matt Carroll.
Carlos Powell, a southpaw forward from Albuquerque of the NBDL is showing a smooth outisde touch. Bill Walker isn’t doing much in the game, very anonymous for a guy who’s supposed to bring intensity into the game. Speaking of intensity, Joey Dorsey is back in the game and makes his impact known immediately, he’s like a tank in there, gets the OREB and goes 1-2 from the line. No idea why we’re looking at this Samb fellow, just put Davis in the game already. Too often, athleticism and size is confused for talent and so is the case with Samb.
Injury update: Sonny Weems has a bruised knee and will not return. He scored 11.
Halftime 57-51 Raps: The scrubs of the scrubs played the final few minutes of the half and it showed. They’re interviewing Marcus Landry and he drops the biggest cliche in athlete interviews: “We just got to stay focused”. DeRozan has 17 including two threes, Davis has only attempted three shots, making two, and the Summer League leader in rebounding, Joey Dorsey, has pulled down a game-high 5 boards. Raptors shooting 56%. Andy Rautins is 1-4 – all four have been threes. Three of them have been poor shots.
End 3rd 85-68 Raps: Raptors have blown it open, Ed Davis has come alive. He ran some nice PnRs with the PGs, finished a move, got fouled, he’s looked more active in the last five minutes than in the whole week. The Knicks aren’t playing any D and their guards are over-dribbling and taking bad shots. Raptors have tightened the offense and are dominating the glass. Sonny Weems has actually returned to the game, I guess the earlier report was incorrect. This quarter has been plagued with Knick turnovers and Weems just attacking their guards off the dribble, it’s too easy for him – he’s got 8 in the quarter.
Raptors contesting every shot, the defensive intensity has definitely picked up after halftime and it’s fueling their offense. Even Dupree and Stinson are getting in on the act, the Knicks have come undone.
Have to comment on Michael Roll: At 6’5″ he’s got good size, a good jump shooter, has shown some intelligence in his passing, which would make you think he’s got a chance. The problem is the athleticism, he has none. If you saw him on the street you wouldn’t ever think he was a basketball player.
The Raptors continue to dominate the paint and they’re doing it the right way – running two-man games with the bigs rolling to the rim. Even when they miss they got a good chance at the offensive rebound. Too bad the guards (the two Brown’s and Stinson) don’t have on-the-ball quickness and creativity, they’re all pretty decent at running a two-man game, though. I’d give you some point-totals, but the NBA.com boxscore is still in the first half.
Davis is a deceptive rebounder, he’s flown in out of nowhere to clutch the boards a couple times now. I think his athleticism is very comparable to Bosh at that age, the difference could be that Davis’ frame allows for more natural weight to be added without injury risk. Whereas Davis likes to stick in the paint, Alabi’s always roaming around the 10-15 foot range on offense, he’s hit a couple jumpers but I wonder if those will be even available at the NBA-level. Davis and Alabi are the only notables playing.
Random Note: John Wall is working with Sam Cassell.
4th 4:09, 96-77 Raps: The energy is dead, if I’m Eric Hughes, I’m instructing my scrub point guards to feel Ed Davis more. The guy just went three straight possessions without a touch. Since he’s the only guy on the court who’s going to make the roster 100%, that’s a waste. Just as a type this, he catches a quick pass and executes a strong move for a score. On the other end, some Knick scrub tried to make a move on him and he absorbed the pump-fake and still got the block. Without jumping. This game is over man, please end it. DeRozan has 23.
4th 2:42, 98-81 Raps: Andy Rautins tweaked something but it doesn’t matter. A very disappointing performance from him, I can understand missing shots but his shot-selection would make Leo cringe. Patrick Ewing Jr. has 11 points on 5-6 shooting, he’s got a better chance of making the unit than Rautins. BTW, the announcer mentioned that the Calderon to Charlotte went through. Out of touch, these guys. Raptors have a chance to beat the summer league scoring record of 103 here.
Raptors will get the ball back with 14 seconds left and have a chance at breaking the summer league scoring record set by…….the Raptors.
They elect not to take a shot.
Final 102-89 Raptors: Another solid game from Weems and DeRozan, if I’m the Raptors, I limit these guys’ PT for the next game and focus on the bigs – Alabi and Davis. Fact is that the Raptors have a stacked team with plenty of NBA-caliber players whereas other teams are running scrubs and deep-bench guys. All we can take from these performances is that Weems and DeRozan have honed their jumper to some degree, DeRozan has tightened his setup and Weems has added some range. Davis is still trying to settle in to things, it’s got to be a little tough being a PF and wanting touches when you got two wing guys who are looking to score on basically every possession. Alabi is OK, but he’s too similar to Patrick O’Bryant for my liking, and he hasn’t blocked enough shots with in PT he’s received. Jumping is an issue for him, he needs to jump!
Other than the first few minutes of the third quarter, the second half was all garbage time. That’s it from me.