The New York Knicks held an open practice on Sunday at MSG, featuring some scrimmaging and other fan-friendly activities for those in attendance. The whole thing was streaming on Facebook, so true maniacs (myself included) got their first taste of the new-look ‘Bockers in action.
Here are some scrimmage notes, which you should probably take with a couple of handfuls of salt since this was by no means a regular basketball game.
- Frank Ntilikina is a golden god—getting to the line just as often as James Harden, but a far superior shooter and defender. Fine...I’ll come down now. But he was quite good! The French Prince showed all of the things fans fell in love with from his European game footage—sharpshooter accuracy, particularly from the corners, defensive savvy combined with praying mantis arms which allow him to guard bigger players on switches—but also showed some silky point guard skills. He has a nice rapport with Tim Hardaway Jr., particularly on a delightful alley-oop dish from the top of the key.
- Timmy is much, much stronger than he used to be. He showed a flair for bullying dudes along the baseline once he starts his dribble from the corner.
- Kristaps Porzingis missed a bunch of shots, which was hilarious to watch on Facebook, as a torrent of comments rained down to the side of the screen. “KRISTAPS HASN’T IMPROVED AT ALL! WHAT WAS HE DOING ALL SUMMER?” Methinks your average Facebook commenter didn’t watch too much of the EuroBasket tournament.
- Doug McDermott’s jumper is pure as hell, but was surprised me was his ability to get his shot off the dribble and over bigger defenders.
- Michael Beasley shot a patented Dirk wrong-footed fadeaway, which warmed my heart.
- The Knicks kept doubling Beas in the post, continue a terrible Knicks tradition dating back a decade or so.
- Willy Hernangomez and Joakim Noah instituted a “no layups” policy on one another, leading to some delightfully petty (though not overly physical) fouling.
Long story short, Kristaps sucks now and Frank is going to win MVP. First preseason game Tuesday!