Pre-Season Game 1: The Reaction

The Knicks defeated the Nets, by a score of 92-83.

Well, today’s matchup between the Knicks and the Nets was pretty sloppy, but thankfully, we finally have some Knicks basketball again.

Let’s take a look at everyone a few interesting performances:

Toney Douglas: Toney played 29 minutes, but was only able to score 5 points on 2-6 from the field. While Douglas was not able to connect on his shots, he still managed to dish out five assists, and grab six rebounds. As he did last year, Douglas looked lost running the point. However, he did finish with a team-high in assists.

Landry Fields: Landry played 28 minutes and shot an atrocious 2-12 from the floor. He looked lost at times on offense, but was still able to collect seven rebounds, two steals and two assists. One thing is for sure: Landry has bulked up, and he will be able to use his new frame to his advantage this season.

Mike D’Antoni on Douglas and Fields’ performances:

“Their eyes were a little bit in head lights. But they’ll be fine.”

Iman Shumpert: The rookie impressed throughout the night. He got off to a quick start, nailing his first two shots, and continued firing all night. In the end, Shumpert finished with 16 points in 24 minutes. Leading up to today’s game, Shumpert has been very hyped up by the Knicks’ fanbase, as well as coaching staff. Today’s performance seemed to back up all the talk. It’s going to be interesting to see how/if he can develop into a distributing point-guard, because right now he is more of a two-guard, but I think he’s up to the task. One thing is for sure, this kid does not lack any confidence. Towards the end of the third, there was a defensive three-seconds called on the Nets. Even with Mike Bibby on the floor, Shumpert rushed to the free-throw line to take technical-foul shot.

Renaldo Balkman: There was a lot of talk surrounding Balkman this offseason, but most of it had to do with the amnesty provision. In a surprise performances, Balkman exploded for 20 points in 21 minutes. He was 7/10 from the fields, and even canned one three-pointer. He also managed to collect four rebounds, all on the offensive side of the floor. If Balkman can contribute on a dialy basis, half as well as he did tonight, he will prove to be a very valuable bench player. With the loss of Shawne Williams, Balkman could be the diamond-in-the-rough the Knicks dreamt about.

Jared Jeffries: By now we know Jared. However, every season we think that he can do something on the offensive side of the floor, but each season we are wrong, again. Today was a lot of the same that we’ve come to expect from Jared. He had some great defensive possessions: two drawn charges, some nice shot contests, and a few forced turnovers. A specific play that I liked came with 2 minutes left in the third, when Jeffries and Bibby double-teamed Farmar. A couple feet behind the three-point line, on the elbow, Bibby denied the open court, while Jeffries stepped in and trapped him. It was a well executed double-team.

Josh Harrellson: Nobody really expected much from Harrellson, but on his first shot attempt, the big fellah knocked down a three-pointer. He finished with 7 points, on 50% shooting, while playing 18 minutes. I think Josh can actually be a role player for the Knicks, rather than a victory cigar. While he doesn’t possess any athletic gifts, he is able to knock down open shots, and is a smart, fundamental player. I look forward to seeing him develop throughout the season.

Mike Bibby: Okay, I’ll admit it: he looked better than I had thought. He still is very slow, but seems to be able to knock down shots, like he said. Adding him to the roster for the veteran-minimum is a nice pickup, and I’ll be curious as to how Mike D’Antoni uses him.

 

In the end, I’m just excited to have basketball back.