THE KNICKS ARE ABOVE .500! THE KNICKS ARE ABOVE .500! PLEASE IGNORE ANY AND ALL NEGLECTED MODIFIERS IN THAT PREVIOUS STATEMENT AND JUST ENJOY YOURSELVES FOR A MINUTE!
Of course, we are referring to the Westchester Knicks, who propelled themselves to the good side of the .500 mark by winning both ends of a two-game series against the Erie Bayhawks -- first on Monday, and then on Wednesday afternoon. Both games were played in Westchester, cuz the D-League is just weird like that.
And how did our hero, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, fare? Let's break down the two-game series individually:
Monday (Westchester 91, Erie 88)
17 points (7-17 shooting, 0-3 3P, 3-3 FT) nine rebounds (three offensive), one assist, three turnovers, five blocks
Ho-hum -- another five-block game from Thanasis. The box score credits him with only four for some reason -- you can see all five in this highlight video:
Clearly not the most efficient 17 points ever collected. Thanasis is now shooting under 20 percent from three. Fortunately, he seems to be learning where his points should come from. These are his scoring percentages through the first six games (NBA.com didn't update his stats through today's game, but who cares? Good on them for providing advanced D-League stats):
- Percentage of FGA from 2P: 78.8%
- Percentage of FGA from 3P: 21.2%
- Percentage of total PTS from inside the paint: 63.0%
- Percentage of total PTS from FTA: 26.0%
- Percentage of total PTS from fast breaks: 19.2%
For the sake of comparison, the Big Knicks score 33.4 percent of their points in the paint (dead last in the NBA) 14.9 percent of their points at the free-throw line (29th in the NBA) and 6.2 percent of their points on the fast break (27th in the NBA). So get out there and run, Thanasis. Run like the wind!
17 points (5-11 shooting, 0-1 3P, 7-10 FT), eight rebounds (six offensive), two assists, three turnovers, two steals
This game might have been the best-case scenario for Thanasis' offensive game moving forward -- fewer three-point attempts, more free throws, offensive rebounds and this:
It's not easy to project Thanasis Antetokounmpo's offensive ceiling. You know he's going to work his ass off on D, grabbing steals, blocking shots and fouling like crazy. On the other end, he's using his speed to score on the break and his length, strength and fearlessness to make himself a force on the offensive glass. Will that translate to the NBA? Only time will tell.