As the kids say:"whatever" keep telling yourself we "stole" the Zinger I'm straight on that on Chief
I feel like we have 3 very distinct camps on Porzingis in this thread right now. One - people who didn't want him and have already decided he is a bust. Two - people who are way more impressed with him through a very small sample than they should be. Three - people who want to give the guy a chance to play an NBA season before deciding anything on him. In a perfect world, we'd all move into camp 3.
Are you serious? Do you not comprehend what placing something in quotation marks means? No wonder why it's impossible to convey a point to some of you... it's just that much is lost as some of you take every word literally and don't think for yourselves...
Let me put it bluntly: It's called BEING FACETIOUS!
Nobody thinks we stole PORZ, or that he is risk-free. Geez!!! Where do you come up with tis stuff?
July 17, 2015 3:40 p.m. ET
LAS VEGAS—For once, the Knicks’ youth movement appears to be headed in a positive direction.
Most of the attention during summer league has been focused on Kristaps Porzingis, the No. 4 overall pick from Latvia, who most Knicks fans had never seen play in an actual game before the draft. But the team’s other first-round selection, Jerian Grant, also got a chance to show what he could do, while a few other players on the summer roster offer interesting options going into the regular season.
Here’s an intricate breakdown of Porzingis, Grant and six other players from the Knicks’ summer league roster, noting the good, the bad and their chances of becoming a key contributor.
The biggest takeaway from this week was that the 19-year-old has a handful of skills that, taken together, have rarely been seen in the NBA. For all the knocks on his defense—and he will absolutely struggle on that end at times—the 7-foot-1 Porzingis moves his feet exceptionally well, and won’t be a liability in pick-and-roll coverage.
It generally takes post defenders awhile to develop the patience required to go straight up, without leaning or lunging, to block shots. But Porzingis looks as if he could develop that sort of patience, given his height, standing reach and defensive instinct.
He got schooled in the post a handful of times by much bigger players (Julius Randle and Jahlil Okafor) in consecutive games, but eventually made the adjustment on his own to start fronting big men who could simply overpower him that close to the basket. (He’d go on to block Okafor a total of three times in that game.)
Porzingis should get spot minutes at center next season—with Carmelo Anthony at power forward—especially if coach Derek Fisher decides he wants to put a quick, nearly unguardable offense on the floor for short spurts. Porzingis isn’t strong enough to hold his own there for too long, but against some opponents, it may be a realistic option that pays dividends.
His rebounding, at just three per contest, leaves plenty to be desired, as he’s inconsistent with his box-out efforts and occasionally sees a rebound slip through his hands.
Offensively, he shot 48% and averaged 10 points a game despite not being able to post up (he generally overdribbles in those situations), and struggled to catch passes in traffic. But he’s shown to be capable of using either hand to finish at the rim and he’s put the ball down on the floor and punished defenders who closed out on him too quickly. He got to the line frequently, and his passing—far better than advertised—makes him a better fit for the triangle than someone like Andrea Bargnani ever could have been.
We didn’t see much of the lethal jumper that analysts used to make the comparison with Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki. But if it emerges soon, the boos from Knicks’ fans on draft night will be a distant memory.
Grant has several wrinkles to iron out of his game. Chief among them: His habit of dribbling around without much of a plan—something he could do with a 35-second shot clock in college—and his penchant for leaving his feet before knowing who he’s going to pass the ball to. His shot selection, in an offense with a scorer like Carmelo Anthony, will also need some work.
But it’s hard not to be impressed with how he’s performed this week. While it’s only summer league, Grant flashed signs of why he could be more valuable than the one-dimensional Tim Hardaway, Jr.—filling the stat sheet, averaging 12 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 27 minutes a game.
Similar to D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay, the other point guards taken at the top of the draft, Grant struggled from the field, and shot less than 37% in summer league and had issues finishing through contact. Still, Grant got to the free-throw line more often than Russell and Mudiay, averaging five charity-stripe visits per game.
His defense wasn’t great at times (see the Scottie Wilbekin highlights from the Philadelphia game), but he made up for the mishaps by jumping pass lanes with good anticipation skills.
The biggest takeaway is clear, though: It has been awhile, but New York finally appears to have a guard who is capable of breaking down a defense and making the correct read more often than not.
Considering how well Galloway played last season, when he earned All-Rookie second-team honors, this has been a disappointing summer-league showing. Entering Friday, he’d averaged 10 points on just 32% shooting from the field and 25% from three-point range.
His defense, which was solid this past season, has been slow on close-outs; particularly in the Philadelphia win, but also the San Antonio game.
Galloway deserves credit for sliding over and allowing Grant to run the offense for stretches. And he got to the line almost as frequently as Grant, at nearly five times a game, partly by pushing the tempo the way coach Derek Fisher wanted to this summer. But there were times he simply looked out of control. Most concerning, aside from his tendency to short-arm nearly every jumper: His careless passing over the course of the week.
The sample size is minuscule, but his nine turnovers against six assists highlights how bad—and uncharacteristic—his passing has been this past week; especially for someone who already knows this offense. (Galloway enjoyed an almost 3:1 assist to turnover ratio during the season.) His dishes have looked lazy at times, and at others, he’s simply missed opportunities to hit Porzingis in transition or in the post.
We know Galloway is an NBA player based on what we saw last year. But to get greater consideration for a bigger role, he’s going to have to play better; particularly with Grant in the fold.
Following the Hardaway Jr. trade, the summer league marked a big opportunity for Early, last year’s second-round pick, to show what he could do after an injury-plagued year. Going into Friday, the results have been mixed.
Like Hardaway last year, Early has led the Knicks in scoring. But like Hardaway, it’s unclear what, if anything, he’s really improved on since the end of last season. He has been fine offensively; shining in transition while knocking down a few difficult jumpers and finding daylight on back cuts in half-court scenarios. But ball handling is still an issue.
He’s shown an ability to take advantage of defenders who are out of position or behind by a step. But it’s still a challenge to create out of one-on-one situations, which he excelled at in college. Early also struggled occasionally to finish through contact.
His most glaring issue this past week was defense, where he generally shaded opposing players toward their dominant hand and closed out too hard on jump shooters, getting whistled for five fouls twice in a four-game span.
Ledo is easily one of the Knicks’ most intriguing players. He stands 6-foot-7 as a point guard, and the 22-year-old, unlike most of his teammates, can create his own shot. While he should be using his height as an advantage to see over the defense, he generally puts his head down and, in a determined fashion, overdribbles in looking to score instead. He entered Friday averaging 0.8 assists per game in 14 minutes of action.
His style can result in a dazzling play. But that kind of me-against-the-world offense—which was fine at times last year, but won’t be once the Knicks have a healthy Carmelo Anthony back—often prompts referees to call him for carrying, or ends with him dribbling right into the hands of a help defender.
Ledo’s partly guaranteed contract suggests he’ll be at training camp. But in Grant, the Knicks finally have another guard who can create for himself. And because of that, and Grant’s ability to involve others better, Ledo might be viewed as expendable.
Ndour was highly impressive over the course of the week, with the high point coming against the Sixers, when he scored 23 points and logged five boards on 10-of-15 shooting.
The 23-year-old, who figures to be a lock for the 20-man training-camp roster, would seemingly make for a good fit in a more up-tempo, screen-based triangle offense. He likes to set slip screens, so he can either roll or pop quickly to get his own shot.
He has a good jumper and was probably the most decisive player the Knicks had on the roster this summer from an offensive perspective. His footwork is very good, and he made use of a beautiful reverse pivot move against the Lakers.
We haven’t seen him defend straight up in the post much yet, and at 6 foot 9, 200 pounds, that may be the tweener’s biggest test during the preseason, given how little he weighs for his position, and how many players will stand taller than him in the post. Additionally, his trigger on offense may be a little quick at times. But he’s certainly worthy of a deeper look.
To some extent, Wear falls into the same category that Early does: It’s unclear where he’s really improved his game. He began summer league by missing a point-blank layup, and hasn’t seen much else go in since: Wear was shooting 18% (2-of-11) heading into Friday’s finale.
Wear did have a team-high 10 boards in the first game. And he deserves credit for trying to battle through whatever pain is nagging him (Wear sat out the Knicks’ second game, and Fisher said Wear told him he was going to play the remainder of summer league, regardless of how he was feeling physically). But it’s noteworthy that his shot selection is still about the same: He’s largely taken attempts from the midrange part of the floor, similar to last year, when a whopping 65% of his shots came from there.
At this point, Wear might be better served by trying to consistently stretch his range out to the 3-point line. Otherwise—his 10-rebound game aside—it’s hard to identify what Wear really does that makes him a better option than others who are trying to take his job.
It feels wrong to deny someone like Antetokounmpo a spot with the Knicks—a team that has statistically fielded the NBA’s worst defense since Jeff Van Gundy resigned in 2001—given how energetic and committed to defense the 23-year-old forward is. But when it comes down to it, he still looks too raw to make the 15-man roster.
Antetokounmpo, whose younger brother Giannis plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, is fast and long enough to make a play on the ball, no matter how far away he starts from the shooter. But he’s often out of control on both ends, and isn’t a high-IQ player yet (committed a basket interference infraction, and clogs spacing by making ill-timed cuts into the paint.) His dribbling is subpar—he had the ball stolen the first time he initiated the offense—and his inconsistent jumper allows defenders to ignore him on the perimeter.
Antetokounmpo has the sort of athleticism that can’t be taught. Because of his defense, with the right lineups, the Knicks might be able to live without him scoring much. And who knows? His ability to hang in the air gives him potential to perhaps be a decent finisher on the offensive end but it remains unclear whether he’d reach that potential soon enough to merit a roster spot this season.
Jerian Grant has started the game today off very well today.
#kporzee is out today as I figured he was tired, not used to this NBA grind yet. The team has held him out of action. He said the game here is different everywhere. It's more physical and the shooting isn't as good here as it is over in Europe
Playing a young guy 5 games in 7 days when he is already on the roster would have seemed a bit excessive to me. As far as everyone else, excluding Grant and Early, not sure it matters if any of these other guys are in Knicks jerseys going forward. Ledo, Wear, Ante, NDour, Kirk have all been pretty lackluster when these 5 games are taken as a whole.
Those are 5 guys that should get training camp invites. They're all on the bubble for a roster spot. Other than NDour I wasn't impressed with any of them. I read Wear might be hurt so that may be his excuse and NDour just may be playing way over his head.Playing a young guy 5 games in 7 days when he is already on the roster would have seemed a bit excessive to me. As far as everyone else, excluding Grant and Early, not sure it matters if any of these other guys are in Knicks jerseys going forward. Ledo, Wear, Ante, NDour, Kirk have all been pretty lackluster when these 5 games are taken as a whole.
Those are 5 guys that should get training camp invites. They're all on the bubble for a roster spot. Other than NDour I wasn't impressed with any of them. I read Wear might be hurt so that may be his excuse and NDour just may be playing way over his head.
We still have the room exception and vet min contracts we can offer so I expect at least one more signing, we still need a 3 pt shooting specialist and possibly a backup big,
Should be a lull around here until training camp so I wish everyone a great summer.
DFish saying NDours camp invite maybe with some other team besides the Knicks, too similar to Lou and Lance.Ndour definately deserves a camp invite.[/FONT][/COLOR][/FONT][/COLOR]