Toney Douglas lead the Knicks’ losing effort last night in Las Vegas Summer League with an impressive 27 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Bill Walker, who showed a lot of promise after coming over from the Celtics in the second half of the season, scored 14, but on an unimpressive 6-14 shooting (only 1-6 from long range) with a whopping 7 turnovers and a… wait for it… 9 personal fouls (in Summer League you can get up to 10 fouls. Sorta makes me think of how in Spinal Tap their speakers went up to 11 so they’d be louder). Andy Rautins in 30 minutes got just 11 points on 4 of 11 shooting, but the good thing is he shot a respectable 3-8 from long distance. Under Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system, an ability to hit the three is critical.
Speaking of hitting the three, while Toney Tone’s 27 points sounds good, he shot a mere 8 of 20 from the field, but he too excelled from deep going for 5 of 11 (aka, an incredible 45%). Toney was also a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line, and the truth is he’s more of shooter than a facilitator.
Landry Fields came off the bench to be our one good volume shooter, going 6-of-8 for 13 points in 25 minutes with 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Jerome Jordan, who we acquired in a draft-day trade with Milwaukee, started at center and played just 12 minutes for some reason. Maybe it was ‘cuz he managed to ring up 6 fouls in that short amount of time? He scored just 4 points (albeit on an efficient 2-3 shooting) and 2 rebounds. Kinda disappointing since we might need help the most in the big man rebounding department. Potential roster-filler Patrick Ewing Jr. didn’t make it off the bench at all. Poppa must be disappointed.
For more info on Toney Douglas, here’s what TrueHoop’s Rob Mahoney had to say:
Toney Douglas is a summer league giant. [...] In a way, Toney is a more sensible version of former Vegas standout Nate Robinson. He may lack Nate’s off-the-charts athleticism and general shtick, but he’s a far more successful defender and an explosive scorer.
Summer league is a bit funny in that it can turn NBA role players into main attractions. Douglas fits that bill because, skilled though he may be, he’s not exactly glowing from within. He’s simply an intelligent and effective defender with a knack for scoring and, while he’s here in Vegas, putting up a lot of shots. In this setting, it’s Douglas that plays the role of creator, whether it’s executing a nice drive-and-kick to one of the Knicks’ perimeter shooters or launching an ill-advised 3 off the bounce.
It’s that offensive liberty that allowed Douglas to put up 20 shots in 34 minutes, a mark he didn’t hit once last season with the far faster and far more talented big league Knicks. The game is just different when Douglas is asked to carry it, and you know what? It’s glorious. A Douglas pick-and-roll may never be depicted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good enough for a box of Wheaties. OK, maybe off-brand Wheaties.
Douglas has a natural feel for scoring, and while that’s not always the most attractive skill for an NBA point guard, it clearly works to his advantage. [...] Douglas might not be a cookie-cutter point guard, but the fully baked product is just as delicious.
The Knicks’ next summer league game is tonight at 4pm Eastern against the “Lakers”. You can watch ‘em if you happen to have ESPN 3 or NBA TV.