Summer League Game 1: First Impressions

Artsiom Parakhouski wins the opening tip, James “Flight” White (with a nice look) finds an open Chris Copeland for an easy bucket, and then…

Well, suffice it to say, it wasn’t pretty!

Before you say it, I know, I know…it’s the summer league! As Anthony Donahue pointed out, some people were comparing Renaldo Balkman to Latrell Sprewell after one summer league game.

The point being, you can’t take a true measurement of any of these guys based on the result of one summer league game.

But, with Coach Mike Woodson running summer league practices like the regular season, you’d think we would have seen some more effort from this group (especially on the defensive end)!

The Knicks did tighten the game up in the second half, but in the end, it was too little, too late. The Grizzlies got the win, 93-77.

Highlights/Things To Watch For:

1. Chris Copeland -Flashes of a solid player, but some jank ball handling and decision making (shooting and passing) could keep him off the final roster. He is also slower than he thinks he is…

2. Will Witherspoon -Led the team in scoring, but with a glut of front court players already under contract with the Knicks, I can’t see him finding a place in NY…maybe with another team…

3. James ‘Flight’ White -Already on the team, so really just seeing what we have there. He’s unselfish (had a team-high 7 assists) and can get into the lane with relative ease. If he can make a perimeter shot consistently, he’ll see the rotation, but he clearly needs to work on his conditioning, as he was visibly tired towards the end of the game.

4. Mychel Thompson – Has a nice touch from the outside, but is that enough to make this team? He’s one to watch, especially with the Knicks needing some help on the wing.

5. Artsiom Parakhouski – Is big, but a stiff… He got a lot of his 13 points cleaning up garbage. If he had a better touch, he could have had 25! With the addition of Camby, he has no shot to make this team.

6. Chris Smith – J.R.’s little brother is definitely an athlete like his big brother, but not much else to talk about unless you were admiring his awesome “gold chain” tattoo at the halftime break!

Your Knickerbockers play Phoenix tomorrow at 4 p.m. So we should have a better idea of what these performances mean in the grand scheme of things.

One thing is for certain, TD, Jorts, and Jerome Jordan wouldn’t have helped as this was never really close and they weren’t that good… However, that two million we gave Houston could have been used to pay Memphis not to show up today!

Breathe, it’s just summer league ball…