Preseason Recap: ‘Ptors 123, Knicks 120 (15 Overtimes)

New York Knicks 120 Final
Recap | Box Score
123 Toronto Raptors
Andrea Bargnani, PF 29 MIN | 4-12 FG | 5-7 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | -4

Sure it’s the preseason, but someone’s gotta be with me on this: Bargnani looks a lot better / smoother / sexier / more effective when he’s killing YOUR team during the regular season. Sure, there were some promising notes: jumpers sans hesitation, a beautiful drive and dime-stopped turnaround, a smooth baseline J a few moments later. Still, the sour remains, in the form of roadkill-slow defensive rotations, and the fact that Bargs couldn’t jump over a million-dollar bill if you told him he could keep it.

Carmelo Anthony, SF 27 MIN | 4-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -4

I suppose “missing shots in every conceivable way” qualifies as a legit preseason exercise. I don’t know if Melo temporarily replaced his right arm with a splintered yardstick or woven strands of dried kelp or what – touch just wasn’t there. He did haul in a bevy of tough rebounds in traffic, perfectly timed a couple of defensive rakes, and didn’t force the issue to a concerning degree at the other end. Even had the feed on Chandler’s ferocious dunk. As far as tune-ups go, it was akin to watching a stock car going for pole in a grocery store.

Tyson Chandler, C 20 MIN | 5-6 FG | 5-7 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | -7

Let’s get this out of the way now: the jumper is a real thing that might damn well work. Anyone who displays Chandler’s brand of free throw mechanics – smooth for a big man, no discernable hitch – oughta have the mid-range J clamped to tool belt. It took a few years (12), but we’re finally here. Overall Tyson looked energize and engaged at both ends of the floor.

Beno Udrih, PG 34 MIN | 7-13 FG | 3-5 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 19 PTS | -4

A longstanding totem of Beno’s game has been his mid-range prowess – off curls, dribble-drives, on the break, wherever. We saw a dash of that tonight, along with solid D and a steadfast recognition that he really does grasp his primary preseason function: get the youngens involved. He’d eventually have to snap the reigns on his own account late in the game, but overall it was a balanced, impressive showing from someone who might have a real chance of supplanting Pablo Pri * sniper rifle *

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 39 MIN | 4-16 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | -4

Cut a shaky picture throughout, save for a handful of timely, cold-blooded treys. He was victimized pretty routinely on defense – consistent post-up abuse from Gay and DeRozen early, and Terrence Ross’s perimeter heroics later on. As a late shot-clock, catch-and-shoot option, Hardaway is show-ready. As a reliable 20-plus minute a night rotation player? He’s got a ways to go.

Ike Diogu, PF 29 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +7

If Ike Diagu doesn’t make this team, I might have to renounce the religion I don’t have. The combination of confident spot-up shooting (mid-range, but seldom so far as to seem ill-advised), paint-scrappin’, and a truly barbaric hate for Tyler Hansbrough maks him a cult hero in waiting. Oh, and Robert thinks he looks like Bob Saget in Full House.

C.J. Leslie, SF 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +6

I had no idea C.J. Leslie was this skinny. I think you could fit C.J. Leslie into a slot machine or a very narrow bathroom cabinet. The early pull-up was nice, in that I don’t think I’ve ever seen C.J. Leslie make a pull-up jumper. Woody knew he was giving Leslie his longest showcase, and the results were fairly forgettable. I won’t get into why he hasn’t panned out, except to refer you to Mr. Udwary’s terrific piece from earlier today. We’ll just leave it at that.

Metta World Peace, SF 31 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +1

We’d been hearing quite a bit about Metta’s training camp showing the last few days, so it was nice to see a tangible translation – aggressiveness at both ends of the floor, and a concerted effort to take terrible shots at the worst possible times. Metta’s leadership is evident, but it’s hard not to question whether “getting his” is really the healthiest thing. At a certain point, isn’t it incumbent upon us to wonder whether Metta’s poor decision-make- HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OMG I LOVE YOU PEACE!

Chris Douglas-Roberts, SG 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 3-3 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +1

A guy who appeared poised for a 10-plus year career while at Memphis, now doomed to the dustbin – at least for now. Deferred early and often, which was great for the offensive flow, and piss poor for his professional prospects. Seems like a good dude, so I hope he sticks somewhere.

Toure’ Murry, SG 34 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | -2

There’s an element of style-points at play with Murry: the idea that it’s gotta be really, really hard to transition from college two (at a mid-major, no less) to pro one in less than a year. And the deficit is evident, in the occasional shaky handle and corner-gripping instincts. All that aside, the highlights were erudite: a gorgeous lefty lay-in on the break, a pair of contorting and-ones, and that silly third quarter buzzer-beater. The jumper needs some work, as does his propensity for navigating picks like Captain Beefheart on a slalom. Think about it.

Five Things We Saw

  1. “Clyde, how do you feel about the full beard look from Woodson?”

    “It looks…. huh…. it…. it loo….Wow… I me… it looks….Shit…. OK… it looks good? It looks good. I think it looks good. It looks fine. Yeah… it looks alright.”

  2. Toronto’s gaggle of long, athletic wings gave the Knicks fits the night long; abusing them on turn-arounds and spins like a ballet review, and canning timely threes — contested and wide open alike — when it counted. Hardaway Jr. in particular got barbecued in isolation, the result — SURPRISE! — of undiscerning switches, especially early on.
  3. During the early stages of the third quarter, the Knicks trotted out a lineup of Murry, Melo, Metta, Bargs, and Chandler. You read that right – Melo at the two. I think? It was kind of a disaster. So Woody can go just ahead and file that whole episode in his failure cabinet, right between “ALL EUROS ALL THE TIME” and “JIM TODD TEAM BUILDING AQUARIUM FIELD TRIP”.
  4. I alluded to this at a few points earlier in the cap, but I’ve lately been fascinated – thanks to Metta in particular – by the seemingly disparate functions of preseason play: On the one hand, you want to give your vets as many real-time reps as possible; on the other, every possession that ends with a MWP fade-away left corner three with 14 seconds on the shot clock and not, say, a 1-3 P&R with Murry and Leslie on the right wing, kinda seems like a wasted opportunity. Isn’t it in the best interest of the team to – if not outright feed – at least defer to the hopefuls? Why do guys who have long been guaranteed a roster spot feel the need to try moves and shots they know won’t go over well during the preseason? Why are you falling asleep? That’s rude.
  5. I’ll be honest, I kinda zoned out during those three years of overtime. Mostly because I was busy compiling this:

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Jim Cavan

Beyond his KnickerBlogger roots, Jim's work has appeared at, Grantland, The Classical, and the New York Times. He is currently working on a biography of Robert Silverman, entitled "Clownin' and Astoundin.'" Follow him on Twitter @JPCavan.

7 thoughts to “Preseason Recap: ‘Ptors 123, Knicks 120 (15 Overtimes)”

  1. Thanks, Jim. Yeah, Woody is in full-bore tinker mode. Toure reminds me a bit of Rip Hamilton.

    Man, Woody must hate Cole.

  2. Maybe it’s just the number, but I look at Ike Digou and I see too much Sweetney. Digou is in better shape and works harder, but he is an undersized PF who counts on cunning to get his shot to the rim.

  3. I watched MWP get interviewed after the game last night.
    He crazy.
    Still has crazy eyes.
    He’s thinly veiled menace.

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