31° Good Morning
31° Good Morning

Knicks' 2009 draft picks, Douglas and Hill, look sharp

Houston forward Jordan Hill (27) tips the ball

Houston forward Jordan Hill (27) tips the ball in as Rockets forward Jared Jeffries (20) and Knicks guard Bill Walker, right, watch in the fourth quarter of the Rockets' 116-112 win over the Knicks. (Mar. 21, 2010) Credit: AP

With Donnie Walsh looking on, the two members of the Knicks' 2009 draft class had career games Sunday. The only problem was that one of them, Jordan Hill, did it for the other team.

Toney Douglas continued his evolution into a bona fide NBA point guard, contributing 26 points, including six three-pointers, tying Nate Robinson's franchise rookie record.

The 6-10 Hill had 13 points in 25:25 for the Rockets in their 116-112 win over the Knicks. "He's more athletic than any big we have,'' Rick Adelman said. "He plays above people.''

Before the game, Walsh said he drafted Hill because he thought he would be a good NBA player. "I still believe that,'' Walsh said. Still, he reluctantly included Hill in the three-team trade Feb. 18 in which Jared Jeffries and future conditional first-round picks went to Houston for Tracy McGrady and Sergio Rodriguez.

Walsh believed moving Jeffries' $6.8-million contract off the books to create $9.5 million in cap space was more important.

Walsh was criticized for passing on Brandon Jennings to pick Hill eighth overall. Mike D'Antoni was a main supporter of Hill in the draft process but didn't play him much, mainly because several veterans were ahead of him in the frontcourt.

Hill told the Houston Chronicle on Saturday that D'Antoni "relies on veterans more than rookies.'' That comment was relayed to D'Antoni, who said: "I don't like to play bad rookies. I like to play good rookies.''

Knicks fix

The Jets' Mark Sanchez and D'Brickashaw Ferguson sat along celebrity row and drew a loud ovation.

The Dolan family owns a controlling interest in Knicks owner MSG and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.


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