New York Knicks Lose Summer League Opener to Memphis Grizzlies, 90-86

Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer IJuly 15, 2009

NEW YORK - MARCH 20:  Nate Robinson #4 of the New York Knicks walks from the court with teammate Wilson Chandler #21 against the Sacramento Kingson March 20, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

New York lost their summer-league opener to the Memphis Grizzles, 90-86.

Knicks SG Morris Almond scored the first points of the summer. He led the team with 17 points and made three shots from downtown. The former first-rounder (2007-Utah Jazz) is expected to earn a partially guaranteed contract for next season. He was third in the nation in scoring (26.4) in his senior season at Rice University.

Head Coach Mike D'Antoni was impressed with his defense as he was matched up mostly against F Sam Young(finished 3-10 from the field). Almond is athletic and has good size for his position at 6'6". Donnie Walsh tried to acquire him last season.

Another bright spot was rookie Toney Douglas who had 11 assists and zero turnovers. However, he shot just 2-13 scoring eight points. Walsh, felt Douglas ran the team well and believes he can be a capable backup to PG Chris Duhon. There have been rumors that the Greek team Olympiakos has made a two-year offer to G Nate Robinson.

The other rookie Jordan Hill struggled in the first half but did better in the final two quarters. He started off missing four of his first five attempts but went five for nine in the second half. He finished the game with 13 points and eight rebounds.

The reason for the slow start was he was matched up against 7'3" Hasheem Thabeet. Hill needs to work on his jumper and admitted he needs to get in better game shape. The eighth pick in the draft showed he's active in the paint and can crash boards (had two three-point plays off offensive rebounds).

The Knicks play again today at 4 p.m. EST against the Pistons.