Following last season’s postseason appearance, some historic individual performances, and a few of their players being called up to the NBA, the Westchester Knicks have returned to action, as the new G League season began last Thursday. But it didn’t begin without a little trouble. Their original first game (and home opener) at the Westchester County Center was postponed because of court issues and they were suddenly in a rush to find a new home.
Fortunately for the W-Knicks, their big brother looked out for them and made Madison Square Garden available for their use Monday night. Not was the W-Knicks’ season opener against the Lakeland Magic, a rematch of their Eastern Conference playoff series from last season, but it was history in the making. There had never been a G League game of any kind played inside the World’s Most Famous Arena prior to this occasion.
If you’re someone who follows the W-Knicks, you would noticed the immediate and obvious changeover to their roster. Ranging from previous mainstay’s such as Billy Garrett, Isaiah Hicks, and Luke Kornet to first-time contributors such as Jameel Warney and even former head coach Mike Miller, the Eastern Conference playoff hopeful witnessed their fair share of departures during last offseason. But it didn’t translate to a lack of talent across the board.
Derrick Alston, who served as one of Miller’s assistants in Westchester, was promoted to head coach and the W-Knicks’ playing roster follows the same blueprint of their previous ones. There’s certainly an NBA presence on this team, between the likes of recent second-round picks from the NBA Draft — Kadeem Allen/Ivan Rabb in 2017 and Iggy Brazdeikis in 2019 — and players who either had or will receive two-way contracts (Zak Irvin, Andrew White III, and JJ White).
Either way, we have seen a bit of everything from the W-Knicks to begin this season. Regardless of where you look, between their 106-100 loss against Lakeland or Wednesday’s 116-109 win against the Greensboro Swarm, the W-Knicks have certainly scored with ease. And although it’s still very early, I believe it’s fair to say that White III is clearly becoming their go-to scorer on this team.
Standing at 6-foot-7 and possessing a high basketball IQ, AWIII easily creates his own shot and that showed during his 39-point performance against Greensboro. He also shot 9-11 from downtown. If the Virginia native can keep this pace up, just know it will be tough to defend the W-Knicks, especially with their depth in the scoring department. Beside AWIII’s scoring efforts, the duo of Amir Hinton and Lamont Peters have greatly aided him.
Hinton and Petersare shifty guards who can shoot and drive to the basket. As for who is standing out in other areas, Rabb and Irvin are beginning to make their own impacts as playmakers and rebounds, especially Irvin. The versatile forward actually posted a stat line of 12, 7, and 5 and shot 44% from the field in Wednesday’s win over Greensboro.