Even during the very early portion of the regular season — where wins and losses are exchanged and question marks begin to form around these team’s rosters — the positives from each performance can’t be forgotten. This is a thought the Westchester Knicks are adopting, as their record isn’t a projection of their play, sitting at 1-3 early in the season.
With an offense that has scored over 110 points twice in their first four games, and Andrew White III and Ignas Brazdeikis greatly contributing to their cause, the W-Knicks have little worries on that side of the floor. In fact, their recent shooting percentages are pretty decent to say the least (44 percent overall and 38 percent from three). It’s just a manner of improving their performance in other areas, such as turnovers (committed 20-plus of them in two games) and not starting slow in the third and fourth quarters.
But in the case of Monday’s loss to the Grand Rapids Drive, all of the focus was on Brazdeikis. The big club’s second-round pick from this year’s NBA Draft took over the W-Knicks’ offense on a night where a few of this team’s other go-to scorers weren’t as successful, and it forced the Michigan product to look for his shot more. The result of that was Brazdeikis finishing with a career-high 36 points.
This kind of development is huge for Brazdeikis. Although he’s a 6-foot-6 combo forward who makes plays for himself and others, his ability to take over games will be further tested and developed during his time in the G-League. To a certain extent, we’ve already seen him in some of those situations on opening night against the Lakeland Magic, and those specific instances were positive for the man better known as “Iggy.”
Yet besides just scoring 36 points against the Drive, I was honestly more impressed with Brazdeikis’s shot selection. Throughout Monday’s performance, he scored in a multitude of ways, including off the dribble with either hand, 3-pointers, and in transition. Later in the second half, we saw Brazdeikis play off the ball and utilize screens before making a couple of timely baskets. In all, No. 17 shot 16-28 from the field and 4-9 from downtown.