With a vigorous hat tip to the good folks over at River Avenue Blues (the best Yankees blog going), this segment will provide an update on the Knicks’ D-League affiliate, the Erie Bayhawks. This is the first year that the Knicks have had their own D-League team to try and develop talent. This segment will probably be less useful for basketball , where draft picks go straight to the NBA, than it is in baseball, where teams’ best prospects have to work their way through several levels of the minor leagues before making the show.
That said, the NBA likes to point out that 15% of the players in the NBA have spent time in the D-League, including Matt Barnes, Lou Williams, Jordan Farmar and other solid rotation players. As such, this segment will be useful because 1) the Knicks’ bench, as we’ve seen already this year, is painfully thin (why Renaldo Balkman — or as they call him over at NY Magazine, Humpty –is getting minutes is beyond me), so the Bayhawks might be able to provide some much needed depth; in fact, several Bayhawks players, such as Mychel Thompson and Corey Higgins, have found their way onto NBA rosters already this year, 2) the names of the teams are silly, and that’s always fun (Sioux Falls Skyforce?!?!?), and 3) we’ll get to check in on some of our favorite NBA and college washouts (Jamal Tinsley was the #1 pick in this year’s D-League draft, Ricky Davis is making his Maine Red Claws debut this evening, Antoine Walker is trying to pay off gambling debts for the Idaho Stampede, and doofy Cornell great Jeff Foote is stomping around for the Springfield Armor…all of those things are true).
The Bayhawks beat the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (what’d I tell you about those team names?) last night. Here are the interesting lines:
D.J. Kennedy: (St. John’s -22 years old -6’6″ SG/SF): 17 points (7-11 FG, 2-5 3PT), 10 reb., 6 assists —- Not sure this kid will ever make it to the show, but he appears to be putting up good numbers.
Devin Green: (Hampton – 29 years old – 6’7″ SG): 8 points (4-10 FG, 0-3 3PT), 4 reb., 2 assists —- one of the last guys cut from this year’s roster in the preseason, it makes sense for the Knicks to keep him around in case there are any more injuries.
Chris Daniels: (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi – 27 years old – 7’0″ C): 15 points (6-8 FG, 1-3 3PT), 7 reb., 5 assists —- I’m fascinated by this guy. He’s averaging 16 points, 10.7 boards, 2.2 blocks and 1.0 3PTM. He seems like he’d be a great fit and couldn’t possibly have less of an idea what to do on the court than Jerome Jordan, who looked lost in limited minutes last night. He got a look with the Lakers in training camp, but is back with the Bayhawks. Full disclosure: I haven’t watched any Bayhawks games this year, so there must be a fatal flaw in Daniels’ game because 7-footers who can play don’t rot away in the D-League. Especially not when the big club needs size so desperately.
Kyle Goldcamp: (Gannon (???) – 26 years old – 6’10” PF): 17 points (8-13 FG, 0-0 3PT), 11 reb., 4 assists —- This is his third year on the Bayhawks and he went to a school I’ve never heard of. I get the sense he’s the basketball equivalent of an “organizational player,” but the big fella had a nice game, so I’ll give him the shout out here.