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Summer League Preview and The Return of Isiah

Posted By Jordan Lauterbach On Jul 11 2010 @ 1:40 am In New York Knicks | No Comments

Still upset about Lebron James? Worried about the return of Isiah Thomas? (I wouldn’t be, but more on that later…) Nothing like a little Summer League action to take your mind off it for the next week.

Here’s the schedule for the annual July glimpse at the Knicks:

Today vs. Denver – 4pm

Tomorrow (Monday) vs. LA – 4pm

Wednesday vs. Toronto – 6pm

Friday vs. Detroit – 4pm

Saturday vs. Washington – 4pm

A few players that I’m very excited to see play:

 One is Toney Douglas.  With the signing of Raymond Felton, Douglas will be relegated to bench role. Watching him play in the final few weeks of the year was one of the bright spots of the season. Douglas, who was mysteriously absent from Mike D’Antoni rotation for the majority of the season, finished the year averaging 8.6 points and 2 assists in just under 20 minutes per game. He played in 56 games and started 12 of them. He is a very exciting player who just needs a little more playing time at the pro level. Douglas coming off the bench in 2010 – 2011 will be a good thing for the Knicks. The choice to go to Vegas is a smart one. 

Patrick Ewing Jr. is no stranger to the Knicks. Not only is his dad’s number hanging in the rafters, but he has been impressive in Summer League’s and pre – season’s past. Ewing’s hustle is undeniable and refreshing. Don’t forget, this is a guy who was one of the last cuts on the regular roster two seasons ago. Last season, Ewing Jr. played for Reno in the NBDL.

Marcus Landry and Bill Walker both played on the Knicks last season. Walker was acquired in the Nate Robinson deal. He played in 35 games last season, starting 13 of them. Walker averaged 9.4 points and 2.5 rebounds last season. He was always regarded as a nice piece that just didn’t have a place in Boston. He found a place in NY. Look for him to have a big week. Marcus Landry averaged 2.4 in 18 games in ’09 – ’10.

            Besides the play of Toney Douglas, the three rookies may be the most intriguing storyline of the week. It may be summer league, but it’s still these guys’s first action in the NBA. Will Andy Routins show signs of being able to play NBA defense? We know he can shoot, but how will those Syracuse zone principals translate to the pro game? Is Landry Fields still as curious a pick as it seemed three weeks ago? A good week may not make anyone feel a lot better about pick, but a bad week would reinforce the concerns going into training camp. Can Jerome Jordan establish himself as a potential down – low presence? All fascinating things to watch.

Here’s the complete roster, courtesy of nba.com  

No Player Pos Ht Wt Born College/Country 2009-10 Team Yrs Pro
55 Eric Boateng C 6-10 257 Nov. 20, 1985 Arizona State Arizona State (NCAA) R
2 Jaycee Carroll G 6-1 187 Apr. 16, 1983 Utah State Gran Canarias (Spain) R
41 Warren Carter F 6-9 220 Apr. 23, 1985 Illinois Ilisiakos (Greece) R
23 Toney Douglas G 6-2 190 May 25, 1987 Florida State New York (NBA) 1
0 Patrick Ewing, Jr. F 6-8 240 May 20, 1984 Georgetown Reno (NBADL) R
18 Olu Famutimi G 6-5 220 Feb. 21, 1984 Arkansas Oyak Renault (Turkey) R
4 Landry Fields G/F 6-7 215 Jul. 27, 1987 Stanford Stanford (NCAA) R
35 Charles Garcia F 6-10 230 Oct. 13, 1988 Seattle Seattle (NCAA) R
17 Ron Howard G 6-5 200 Nov. 14, 1982 Valparaiso Valparaiso (NCAA) R
44 Jerome Jordan C 7-0 253 Sept. 29, 1986 Tulsa Tulsa (NCAA) R
11 Marcus Landry F 6-7 230 Nov. 1, 1985 Wisconsin Boston/New York (NBA) 1
40 Leo Lyons F 6-9 225 May 25, 1987 Missouri Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel) R
45 Carlos Powell F 6-7 225 Aug. 29, 1983 South Carolina Albuquerque (NBADL) R
20 Andy Rautins G 6-4 194 Nov. 2, 1986 Syracuse Syracuse (NCAA) R
5 Bill Walker G/F 6-6 230 May 25, 1987 Kansas State New York/Boston 2
25 Ryan Wittman F 6-7 210 Oct. 26, 1987 Cornell Cornell (NCAA) R

 

The team will be coached by Dan D’Antoni. Always a half – time interview favorite and one of the great “what was the thought process?” name conundrums on all time.

Now, a quick word on the Isiah Thomas rumors. Here’s what Frank Isola of the New York Daily News had this morning.

Whether Thomas is a fan of Dolan’s music is unclear. But there is no denying that the two continue to share a close relationship and that Thomas’ surprise involvement in the Knicks [1] recruitment of LeBron James [2] could pave for the way for him to return to the organization in some capacity, perhaps even as Donnie Walsh [3]‘s replacement”

Call me naïve, but doesn’t the organization have too much common sense to do this? I know that the Knicks have made questionable decisions in the past (a lot of them), but this would be the most impossible sell in all of sports history. I think fans would rather Reggie Miller run the show. This is a team that, despite getting a lot better, failed in its main mission this off – season. As much as fans like the moves to bring Stoudemire and Felton to MSG, they aren’t stupid. The goal was Lebron James and, no matter what the reason, that goal wasn’t reach. How could you possibly compound that disappointment with bringing one of the most vilified people in the history of the organization back in any public capacity and sell any tickets or regain any respect? Remember, Knicks tickets went from being unobtainable to being sold with 30 – minute September infomercials in under a decade. That’s hard to do. How could they be that dumb to bring Thomas back? How could any organization in sports be that dumb? I just don’t buy it. Rest easy.

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[1] Knicks: http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York+Knicks

[2] LeBron James: http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/LeBron+James

[3] Donnie Walsh: http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Donnie+Walsh

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