Nothing beats the dog days of summer like a little basketball. The Knicks picked up the win in their first Summer League game today, but these games are more about player development than wins and losses (just don’t tell that to Derek Fisher). Let’s take a look at some of today’s individual performances.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
After playing 81 games last year, the second year pro is one of the more experienced players on the Knicks Summer League squad. He did not disappoint in the opener, scoring a game-high 25 points. Much like last year, Hardaway Jr. thrived in transition and with the long-ball. Although his field goal percentages and three-point percentages were low (40% and 30% respectfully), he was efficient in getting to the line. He made 10 of 12 free throw attempts.
The Knicks weren’t supposed have a first round draft pick, but thanks to some Phil Jackson magic, they were able to trade themselves in. When they saw Early available at 34, they selected him immediately. Early has first round talent, and showed it today. He was 5-10 from the field, including an astonishing 3-4 from beyond the arc. In addition to his 13 points, he showed solid defense, blocking two Dallas shots. He is a project, but it was a good start to Early’s mission of getting regular season minutes this year.
Aldrich was a late-day addition to the Knicks regular season roster, signing with the Knicks after Jackson waived Lamar Odom. This year, with a new coach, he is looking to upgrade his role. He made a great first impression today, grabbing fourteen rebounds, five of them offensive. He also lead the team with three blocks, shot 50% from the field, and scored nine points. Out of everyone on the team, Aldrich looked like he fit into the “triangle offense” the best, which was run a handful of times over the game.
Much like his brother, the Greek Freak, Thanasis has tons of potential. He has the athleticism to become a defensive stopper in the league and showed he can be effective on offense. He scored seven points, blocked a shot, and got a steal. However, the one tremendous downside to his game today was his fouling. He had seven fouls in just over 14 minutes. Luckily for him, he did not foul out due to a ridiculous Summer League rule where you can only foul out with 10 fouls. He just escaped that one!
After struggling with turnovers early, Larkin settled down and put together an all-around good game. The Knick, who was acquired in the trade with Dallas, had three turnovers, but also got three steals, had five assists, and scored 10 points. He looked shaky early, but he looked increasingly comfortable with the other young speedsters on the team (Hardaway Jr. and Early) as the game progressed.
Langston Galloway (-)
Galloway was the only Knick that was noticeably bad in today’s win. He took four shots, all threes, and missed them all. Other than his poor shot selection and efficiency, he snatched up one rebound, dished out one assist, and picked up one foul.
Zane Johnson, Brandon Triche, and Jordan Vandenberg
These three players were all active, but did not see the floor.
STAYED THE SAME
Today, Tyler played well, but not great. He scored six points and grabbed three rebounds, as he only played part of the second half. Much like Antetokoumpo, to Knicks’ fan’s displeasure, Tyler struggled with fouls. This is unacceptable for a player who spent the last year with the Knicks in the NBA. He picked up five fouls in just under 14 minutes, including one obvious illegal screen at the top of the arc.
The NBA veteran is playing on the Summer League team because, quite frankly, he is far from a guarantee to make the team. Brown had a quiet, but decent game. He had a nice and-one layup, played good defense, and didn’t make any big mistakes. One big advantage Brown has is that he is experienced with the triangle offense.
Jordan Henriquez and Will Sheehey
These two players got some court-time today, but didn’t do anything to raise, nor lower their stocks.
The Knicks next game is tomorrow at 4:00 EST against the Trail Blazers.