Derek Fisher runs a very calm, assertive huddle. If he yells, or pulls a guy over to talk individually, it seems to make the instructions resonate. That cool, collected energy was reflected in the product on the floor today in Las Vegas. The Knicks improved to 4-1. Summer play can get ragged in a hurry, but this game was reflective of the team's demeanor from the top down. Players leaked out to get easy transition buckets at the rim, or they capitalized on defensive collapses in the secondary break.
The game included no Kristaps Porzingis, no Langston Galloway and only a smidgen of Maurice Ndour. Jerian Grant was given complete control of the offense because of this, and he handled it very nicely, snaking around screens and sliding passes all around the Milwaukee defenders. Grant's efforts were rewarded with great team play, and Thanasis Antetokounmpo had a breakout game finishing at the rim aplenty. Thanasis scored 17 points without taking a jumper and without missing. Some notes, and then let's reconvene at a later date. Like... training camp later.
- Don't be surprised to see Alex Kirk at training camp. Be absolutely fucking aghast if he makes the regular season roster. Kirk is not good at any one thing, and is bad at mostly everything. What he does do is sniff out formations and clue the defense in early. Rashad Vaughn is a lethal shooter, but practically every floppy they ran was spotted, and hounded appropriately. Vaughn still ended up with 20 points, but it took him 19 shots. Kirk is also generally in the right spot, he just overvalues his ability to contribute. Honestly, it got to the point where Kirk was abusing himself.
- Not many minutes for Maurice Ndour. He performed in the time he had, though. Something that stuck out to me, and has been good all along, is his post passing and the ability to stick it on someone's hands in tight spots. You can probably lock in a training camp invite for him. That makes me smiley!
- You know what makes Thanasis Antetokounmpo smiley? Unnecessary contact and his opponents' subsequent anger. In unrelated news, Thanasis doesn't tie his shoes very tight. Heck of a sendoff game for the guy. He never stops raging!
- A reasonably ok game for Ricky Ledo. Not bad timing, but I bet he wishes the Bucks were on the docket earlier. Still shot poorly, but a few of the misses were just unlucky to have rimmed out. Did a little of everything else and really sees the floor well. The Bucks could not figure him out.
That's really it. The Bucks were overmatched and under-enthused. The Knicks might have really rolled them if they had Porzingis. I gotta go gamble and be a dirtbag now.