There were some positives to take away from this first game starting with the strong start of first round pick Tim Hardaway, JR. Hardaway showed pretty effortless scoring prowess early and showed a variety of ways to put the ball in the basket. He struggled with shot selection as the team as a whole struggled in the second half, but this kid is an NBA caliber scorer.
With the Knicks desperate for a big body who can rebound, it was great to see Jeremy Tyler yank down 11 boards including 5 on the offensive end. Tyler, the former high school star who traveled overseas to play professionally before being drafted to the NBA, is still incredibly raw offensively but you have to really like his activeness. I think he's someone the Knicks have to continue to take a long look at.
Who is Eloy Vargas? A three year player at Kentucky who left after the 11-12 season, Vargas showed decent range, but didn't help much on the boards.
I was impressed with C.J. Leslie's ability to attack the basket off the bounce. He showed some athleticism but you'd like to see better shot selection and more production from the super-talented swingman. Hopefully at his size he isn't in NBA forward purgatory that finds him in between positions and not effective at either the 3 or the 4.
Toure' Murray did his best Nate Robinson instant offense impersonation, no? Four FGs in 12 minutes including a 3 pointer was very impressive. Looking forward to seeing more of the former Wichita State star.
I know it was just one summer league game but I was disappointed by Iman Shumpert's effort yesterday. I thought he could have shown more leadership and take over ability. He was completely outplayed by Austin Rivers all game long. Obviously, you'd like to see Shump get better handling the ball and attacking the basket and job number 1 for him is to stay healthy. But sooner or later the knee injury can no longer be viewed as a crutch and we're going to have to see much more consistency offensively. I'd like to see him prove, like Rivers, that he is by far one of the best players on the floor.
I was annoyed at the rotation in thinking that the coaching staff went too early to the second unit in the first half, but that's being nitpicky.
All in all it wasn't pretty but there were some good signs. Looking forward to the next game tomorrow at 4.