The Westchester Knicks (19-31) ended the 2016-17 D-League campaign in the way we can only hope for their bigger brothers — in other words, with a loss. The W-Knicks suffered a 116-102 defeat at home to the Long Island Nets (17-33). With a nice attendance of 2,234, fans witnessed a back-and-forth nail bitter until the fourth quarter. Westchester just ran out of oxygen in the final minutes to close out the season. Shooting only 40% from the field, including 5-20 from downtown, was not nearly enough to stave off another loss. The Brooklyn Nets D-League affiliate, who like the Knicks will miss the D-league playoffs this year, had just a little more in tank in the closing minutes.
Playing shorthanded on D-League senior cut day, Westchester only dressed eight players. The eight included Jarelle Reischel, who was picked up from the free agent pool on Monday and fan favorite Max Hooper, who came full circle by playing in only the first and last games of the season. The coach’s son, Joey Miller, got action as well, playing a season high 38 minutes and chipping in with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
Jaylen Bond was the star of the game for Westchester putting up another double-double. He started off the season as a camp invite and played in 45 of 50 games as a rookie D-leaguer. Bond finished off the game with 22 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. Keith Wright and Kevin Capers also consistently showed their improvement as the season went on. Both started most of the games this year and brought stability that this team needed with all the roster changes. Wright finished the game with 15 points and 6 rebounds, while Capers finished with 10 points and 3 steals that led to fast break points.
Center Nikola Jovanovic was another W-Knick player who had a strong game, shooting 9-11 from the field and finishing with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Travis Trice, who most fans wished played the entire year with Westchester, dropped 17 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds against the crosstown (Does Westchester-to-Long Island still count as crosstown?) rival Nets.
Next up for Westchester is to figure out who stays and who goes next year. The D-League roster is somehow even less stable than what the big Knicks put together this season. Even with the record this year there were many positives this year, especially the development of the Knicks rookies Ron Baker, Chasson, Randle, Maurice Ndour and Marshall Plumlee, all of whom spent time down in Westchester to develop.