So let’s get the one positive out of the way first... R.J. Barrett played pretty good last night. At least, better than the first two games of Summer League, which isn’t saying that much... But trust me when I say that even the smallest of victories mattered in this slog of a game.
Yeah, the Knicks lost, 85-73. “Got their asses kicked” is probably a more apt way to put it. Just to give a little perspective, I knew that I’d have to recap (recrap?) this game, yet basically stopped paying attention in the third and fourth quarters because it just didn’t feel important anymore.
The SummerKnicks came out looking positively listless, save for maybe the aforementioned Barrett, who finished with a respectable line of 17 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and only one turnover (he shot 6-14, but let’s just forget about that). I don’t know if the Knicks had a little too much fun in Vegas yesterday or what, but there is at least some visual proof that these guys are using the off hours to learn some new skills:
They actually kept things respectable until partway through the second quarter, when Toronto’s Chris Boucher (who is apparently ready to just slot into Kawhi’s vacant spot with the Raptors) erupted for eight points and pushed his first-half total to 18. The Knicks were outscored 28-11 in that second quarter, and entered the half down 47-34. Things (obviously) never really got better from there.
— Yeah, so R.J. — good game for the kid. At least as good of a game as it’s felt with him. He actually managed to put together a solid assist:turnover ratio today, which felt pretty significant. He started the game with a little razzle-dazzle, too:
Heyyyy that's a good first bucket. RJ to Knox for the layup oop. pic.twitter.com/bmSiyQEgFY— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) July 10, 2019
He also seemed to finally embrace his strength on offense — his left hand. Maybe it was just me, but it almost looked like he was forcing himself right the first couple games to prove a point to himself or others that he could. In this one, he just went with his bread and butter early and it worked out well.
OK RJ— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) July 10, 2019
RJ with the and-1 and the Knicks bench loses it pic.twitter.com/20dIkdGUIH
All in all, R.J. was about the only guy I can comfortably say had a “building block” game tonight, so you’ll excuse me for being brief with the rest of the kiddos.
— Mitchell Robinson had what you could definitely call a disappointing game for him. It’s not often that I’d describe Mitch as looking apathetic out there, but tonight was absolutely one of those games. Granted, pretty much everyone looked that way, but Mitch is usually different.
The Blockness Monster finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks. His first half and third quarter were really not great, but Mitch was one guy that really responded well when Jud Buechler benched him and all of the starting lineup at one point. Of course, even on a bad night, he managed to string some highlights together, too:
Some fool just tried to drive with the Blockness Monster switched on him pic.twitter.com/tAGgkDR21F— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) July 10, 2019
Iggy finds Mitch for a nice two-handed flush inside pic.twitter.com/xHaRKo8vsy— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) July 10, 2019
— I know I saw some people freaking out about Kevin Knox and his 3-15 shooting night, but I really didn’t think he was taking that many horrific looks. Granted, they weren’t all good, but he was at least seeking contact and stuff. Knox finished with 15 points, in large part because he managed to get to the line 11 times and convert eight of them.
Knox is playing really decisive. Quick move here to draw the foul. pic.twitter.com/NdiCuofEYg— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) July 10, 2019
Of course, on the defensive end of the floor, things went from “mildly improved” over the first couple games back to “shield your eyes” as it pertains to Knox. He made a number of bad rotations that left some Raptors wide open in the corners.
— I know I already mentioned it, but Chris Boucher looked really freaking good. I guess he’s just a Summer League All-Star, like so many before him? Because I don’t get how that kid’s not a full-time NBA player based off how he played. Showed some range and defended well.
— MSG Networks had this game, which was great considering NBATV had the other feed instead of the great Mark Jones/Doris Burke duo on ESPN. The radio crew of Ed Cohen and Brendan Brown handled the game, and I thought they did a good job! Seems like Brown is kind of polarizing among fans, but I enjoy his no-frills analysis style. Though I will say, he’s more or less the exact opposite of Clyde.
— I really don’t feel like harping on negatives here, but there’s just such a lack of positives... Iggy Brazdeikis managed to shoot 44 percent in a game where the whole team collectively shot 29 percent? I guess that’s kind of a win. Iggy also had easily the nicest cut of the game (and R.J. with one of the better feeds):
Ok I wasn't gonna clip any more of this game in protest but this was a nice cut by Iggy and pass by RJ pic.twitter.com/3pTsVdFG3O— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) July 10, 2019
— Other than Tyler Cavanaugh, who shot a respectable 3-6 for 10 points, the rest of the Knicks’ bench shot 0-10 for four points (shouts to Amir Hinton with the free throws).
Yeah, OK, I’ve officially reached the point where I can’t talk about this game anymore. So sayeth LatvianPrankster, “Our team looks... bad.” Yeah, you could definitely say that.