Murry, Diogu make case for roster spots
October, 12, 2013
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Saturday night was a forgettable one for the Knicks.
They shot 33 percent from the floor and missed 15 of 18 3s in a 30-point loss to Boston.
But it's the preseason, so the final score doesn't really matter.
Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Metta World Peace and other regulars didn't play on Saturday. So many of the Knicks training camp invites had a chance to state their case for a roster spot.
Some failed to do so. But Toure' Murry and Ike Diogu took advantage.
Murry, who impressed Knicks coaches over the summer in Las Vegas, finished with 16 points in 31 minutes on 8-for-21 shooting. The Knicks also outscored the Celtics by three when Murry was on the floor. Looking at plus/minus stats in a single game often is misleading, but in a game that the Knicks lost by 30 points, Murry's plus-3 stands out.
Murry, though, might have a tough time making the regular-season roster. The Knicks have 12 guaranteed contracts and two players (C.J. Leslie and Jeremy Tyler) with contracts that are partially guaranteed.
Essentially, they have eight players battling for three roster spots.
Murry, a 6-foot-5 guard, is in a tough spot because Mike Woodson has said the Knicks have a "logjam" at both guard spots.
Ike Diogu doesn't face the same issue.
Diogu, a 6-foot-8 power forward, had a big night for New York on Saturday, scoring a game-high 21 points and pulling down eight rebounds. He made 11 trips to the free throw line.
Woodson has said that he's looking to add one of the three training camp bigs to the final roster. Diogu has looked strongest thus far. Josh Powell has played well in spots; Cole Aldrich hasn't done enough around the rim through three games.
So Diogu, it seems, separated himself on Saturday.
TOUGH NIGHT FOR TIM: Tim Hardaway Jr. struggled with his shot against Boston. He went 3-for-16 with nine points at the starting shooting guard spot. The first-round pick also had a few defensive lapses. He averaged 14.5 points per game in his first two preseason tilts.
Iman Shumpert also had a tough night, going 2-for-9 for six points. Andrea Bargnani also had several defensive lapses. He did hit his first 3-pointer of the preseason and went 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
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