Two games for the Westchester Knicks this week, with the D-League season almost at an end.
With a paid attendance of 1,552, those who were at the Westchester County Center on Tuesday night were privileged to see one of the greatest reunions in NBA D-League history. A much-anticipated game between the Westchester Knicks (19-29) and the Canton Charge (29-19), featuring the return of fan-favorite point guard Jordon Crawford, was kicked up a notch by another player returning who stole the spotlight. Chasson Randle, who most fans never thought would be wearing the Orange and Blue again after the Philadelphia 76ers signed him to a three-year contract earlier in the season, made his glorious return to the County Center as Westchester nailed down a 108-105 victory.
Randle, who was leading Westchester in scoring before his call-up to the NBA, finished the game with 23 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds. Chasson played 37 minutes and shot lights out, going 5 for 6 from downtown. Westchester fans reminisced throughout the game having Randle and Crawford back under the same roof even if it was only for one game.
Look at that vision...LOOK AT IT!
Randle did not make the trip alone, fellow New York Knicks assignees Marshall Plumlee and Maurice Ndour also started for Westchester against the Cleveland Cavaliers affiliate. Plumlee notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
Ndour, who played 37 minutes, finished the game with 18 points, 6 rebounds and a pair of blocks.
All five starters had double-digit scoring games in the win. Guard Travis Trice led Westchester with 26 points and 8 assists along with backcourt mate Doron Lamb who finished the game with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Westchester finished the game shooting a scorching 50% from the field and 60% from downtown. Although the bench was silent due to all the assignment players needing playing time, they showed great brotherhood cheering on the starters on every play. The game was tight throughout but Westchester pulled away in the fourth quarter building a 13 point lead before clinging on to the lead after a late run by Canton to close the game out.
Damien Inglis (Sprained Ankle) and instant offense John Jenkins (Pelvic Contusion) sat out with injuries. Guard Courtney Fells was waived earlier this week and Jarelle Reischel the Point Pleasant Beach New Jersey Alum was signed to fill his roster spot. Next up for Westchester is a home game Thursday night against the Grand Rapids Drive (24-24) before the final game of the year against the Long Island Nets (16-33) on Saturday.
The W-Knicks couldn’t hold the lead on this night and lost to the Grand Rapids Drive (25-24) at home Thursday, 108-96. The season series went to the Drive, 3-1, but each game was closely contended. Neither team finds themselves in the playoffs next week but that doesn’t mean the matchup was not entertaining.
In the second-to-last game of the season Westchester held their own up until the 4th quarter, when they were outscored 41-22. They struggled particularly on defense and the boards — failing to get to those loose balls and rebounds cost them a chance at a win. The W-Knicks were out rebounded 48 to 32, including giving up 14 offensive rebounds to the Drive. Westchester has shown all season they can compete with any D-League team, but the shuffling of the roster and late-game defensive struggles have cost them several games.
All five W-Knicks starters notched double digit scoring games for the second straight game. Travis Trice had the hot hand for the entire game dropping 30 points connecting on 4 of 6 from downtown. He also dished off 6 assists with pair of rebounds and assists. The rest of the backcourt had strong offensive games as well with Kevin Capers and Doron Lamb each chipping in with 15 points. Playing without Damien Inglis, John Jenkins and Keith Wright, the Westchester bench was only able to muster 15 points, 10 rebound, and 6 assists collectively.
Maurice Ndour and Marshall Plumlee were sent back to Westchester before the game and will fly to Miami to meet the big club before the matchup against the Heat on Friday night. Plumlee was impressive once again notching another double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Ndour was on the receiving end on a few alley-ops and finished the game with 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. The games he has played in Westchester have helped his development on both the offensive and defensive end.
The last game for Westchester this season will be a Saturday matinee game against the Long Island Nets. It’s highly doubtful that any member of the big club will be back in time to play in the finale. On fan appreciate night the Westchester fans would appreciate a victory to end the season on a high note, no matter who is playing.