The Knicks kicked off their 2015 Vegas League with a win over the summer Spurs. It was close throughout before a late push gave New York the lead for good. A win is a win, always, and it was refreshing to watch a Knick victory - even a meaningless victory - without concern over it damaging their lottery odds.
- The starters were Langston Galloway, Jerian Grant, Cleanthony Early, Travis Wear, and Kristaps Porzingis.
- Porzingis' first touch was as the roll man off a pick. He drew a foul on a finger roll. His first points came off of free throws. His first field goal was a pull-up jumper off the glass off a pick-and-roll. These facts will all be on the quiz when he's inducted into Springfield in 2040.
- Kyle Anderson tested Kristaps early one-on-one. Porzingis blocked his shot. Didn't look like he jumped. He is looong on defense. If you're 7'3" it shows on that end, even if you can't move, and he moved around pretty well. His potential to impact spacing on that end intrigues.
- 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 blocks for Porzingis.
- 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a couple of steals for Jerian Grant. He was able to penetrate and get to the line, hitting 9 of 10 free throws. He found Early in transition for an and-one lay-up. Ricky Ledo also found Maurice Ndour for an alley-oop. You can't extrapolate much of anything from Summer League, but it'd be super cool if Grant and some of the young legs got the team more easy buckets out on the break this season. The Knicks ran more today than they did all of last year.
- Grant's first basket was a long three off the glass as the shot clock expired. May fortune smile upon thee all the days you wear the blue and orange, Jerian.
- After mistiming his jump, Porzingis showed good hangtime to finish an alley-oop lay-in from Grant. Or maybe he just showed good height.
- A nice give-and-go saw Porzingis dishing to Grant for a baseline dunk attempt, where he drew a foul. #rookiesynergy
- Where's Phil Jackson? Where's Phil Jackson?!? PEEK-A-BOO!
- Jonathan Simmons of the Spurs showed great hands and energy, with three steals early - and these weren't jumping the passing lanes; these were clean rips. He also had a nice stutter-dribble on a lefty drive and finish and threw a strong dunk down over Thanasis Antetokounmpo. 15 points and 6 rebounds for Simmons. Impressive showing by him.
- Thanasis looked like Thanasis. Four fouls. Three points. If it's possible to be active without seeming involved, he was.
- Ndour is certainly energetic. He hit a couple mid-range jumpers. Not sure what else he brings to the table yet - looks like he's never encountered a post-up in life, ever. But the man does move around a lot.
- Ndour also had a sweet-ass blocked shot.
- Early got to the basket and drew some fouls. Later, after he'd established his willingness to drive, he hit consecutive threes. Hope that continues. 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists for Cle.
- Early may have hurt his elbow late after reaching in on D. He left the game after Ndour landed on him after that shot block. The Knick trainer was massaging Cle's left calf on the bench. I feel like it's too early to say "That's so Early"...so I won't. But it's on my mind's back burner.
- Jimmy Baron played for the Knicks. I never heard of him. Watching him out there, he looks like what I imagine Seth would look like if he played for the Knicks. Actually, now that I think about it, I've never seen Seth and Baron in the same place at the same time......
- Louis Labeyrie played. He scored on a putback. That's that.
- Clyde Frazier on David West taking $11M less to pursue a ring with the Spurs: "If he wanted a championship ring that bad, he should've talked to me." He suggested he could've given West a discount. Never change, Clyde.
- 10 rebounds for Travis Wear. Not just a LeBron-stopper!
- Ledo had a number of nice herky-jerky drives and finishes.
- With the Knicks up one in the last half-minute, Ledo drew a blocking foul. The refs decided to check via replay whether the defender was in the restricted area. WHY THE HELL ARE YOU REVIEWING ANYTHING IN SUMMER LEAGUE?!? Know your role, refs!
- A special moment of joy was watching former New York Liberty Becky Hammon coaching the Spurs today. Hammon is the first woman to coach an NBA-affiliated game. And you thought Porzingis' debut was historic. Congratulations, Coach Hammon. Hope to see more of you on the sidelines in the future - in a regular-season contest.
- Down three, Hammon drew up a totally Spursy play that resulted in a wide-open three. They missed, but still. So Spurs.
- At one point, someone in the crowd jumped up wearing a #34 Knick jersey. I couldn't see if it was a Charles Oakley jersey or an Eddy Curry. That differentiation single-handedly sums up the 1990's Knicks vs. the 2000's Knicks.
Next tilt is Monday at 8:30 versus the summer Lakers. Time to show D'Angelo Russell what he's missing out on!