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SummerKnicks 91, SummerHeat 72: The Knicks avoid the cellar on a Thursday morning

Rise and shine!

Le Mans 24 Hours - Race Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images

So this feels weird. I watched the SummerKnicks play basketball at 8 AM this morning, which is a strange time to watch basketball. I used to get up at 7 AM to watch the Knicks, back when I lived in China, but that was four years ago now. It’s easy to get out of practice when it comes to early morning hoops.

Anyhoo, the Knicks turned in by far their best performance in Thursday’s Summer League finale, roasting the Miami Heat by the score of 91-72. The Heat may have been the squad featuring a 2017 lottery pick—former Kentucky big man Bam Adebayo—but the best player on either team was New York’s second-round pick, Damyean Dotson. The shooting guard lit up Miami for 20 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists, playing the kind of all-around game that should have Knicks fans salivating.

How can you tell that Dotson has truly made it? @DawkinsMTA gave him his own highlight package from this morning’s game!’re in the show now!

Other Good Things

  • The offense worked much more efficiently as New York tended to run the ball through Dotson and Jamel Artis (4 assists). Even tall-ass three-bomber Luke Kornet dropped 3 dimes!
  • Speaking of Kornet, he only shot 2-6 from three and 1-4 from inside the arc, but he showed a little off-the-bounce juice while attacking closeouts. He also chipped in another 3 blocks. Dude is legitimately skilled with his timing on those blocks—it’s more than just being super tall. Time will tell if he has the quicks to stay on an NBA court, but he’s not just a statue out there.
  • Chasson Randle benefited from not being used as the primary ball-handler quite as often as in previous games. Yung Chase scored 18 points on 6-13 shooting (4-7 from beyond the arc) and grabbed a surprising 6 rebounds. He’s not a point, at all...but he can do things.
  • So, soooo much rebounding from the guards. I am a big fan of rebounding guards. The past 3-4 years of the Knicks playing super tall lineups, but not actually rebounding well, has made me this way.
  • Best game of the Orlando campaign from Nigel Hayes: 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block. His height puts him at a serious disadvantage, and some of the better Summer League frontcourts ate his lunch, but maybe he can figure stuff out.

Bad Things

  • Ognjen Jaramaz didn’t play very well, I guess. Screw it...the SummerKnicks won a game! There are no bad things!

And so we bid you adieu, you wacky collection of second-round picks, unheralded Plumlee brothers, under-handed free-throwers, and Dominique Joneses. You weren’t the best Summer League squad, but by way of your efforts this morning, you weren’t the worst, either.