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Recap: Pelicans 80, Knicks 74, Game postponed due to earthquake

The remaining portion of the game will not be made up.

2019 Las Vegas Summer League - Day 1 - New York Knicks v New Orleans Pelicans
Pre shock!
Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Not everyday you get the final score without the final buzzer. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. In the 2014 Finals when the AC went out in San Antonio, but they played on. The Malice at the Palace had 45 seconds left in the game. I don’t remember if it was actually canceled. Several people got their bells rung, so it felt pretty complete. This was a whole other level of weird and unfulfilling way to end a game.

An earthquake some 250-miles away that, by some early accounts, had reached 7.1 on the richter scale shook the Thomas & Mack Center and left the jumbotron and enormous speakers over the court waving and swaying precariously. I bet some people are trying to talk their bookies out of having to pay up today. Only problem is, there’s no one to come break your legs, they’ll just come for your credit and anything you own and bust you out.

Speaking of busting out. The Knicks jumped out to an early lead behind Kevin Knox II’s flame throwing. He was accompanied by some supplemental Allonzo Trier force and eloquence. While the great Mitchell Robinson filled in around the edges, clipping the Pelicans wings defensively and banging down their beaks over the rim on offense.

In the second half Zion Williamson sat on the sidelines with a sore knee but the Pelicans got a head of steam and took charge of the game behind Frank Jackson’s Hall of Fame level performance. Jackson hit triples, defended and dunked Trier into the hoop. Shortly after, Zo exacted some revenge as he waltzed to the hoop for jam of his own. Then the earth started to move under their feet and a large part of the crowd high tailed it out of arena as the sky started to tumble down!

  • Kevin Knox really did come through with a nice outing. The game looks like it slowed down for him. He made much more swift and assertive rotations defensively. It really seemed like he’s on the precipice of being a Summer League graduate student. One more game, maybe two for Knox and then shut it down if you ask me. Still driving left, then shrinking his body to finish with the right hand. Stroke look good.
  • Wasn’t all perfect for Kevin but the miscues had nothing to do with him I’d say. At one point RJ Barrett decided to drive to the goal and had Knox wide open at the top of the key for what felt like six seconds. Barrett just head down, squeezed his way closer and closer and the defense ratcheted tighter and Barrett eventually twisted up a dehydrated flip shot. Knox remained open. Also, this nasty man was rude to Kevin:
  • The nasty man went away with knee pain after an apparent knee-to-knee contact situation. He also throttled my good friend Mr. Robinson and I thought perhaps Mitch had died from a collapsed chesticle, or worse, a broken something... wrist. I dunno. I freaked out is the point. Wasn’t long before my anxieties were quelled.
  • Summer League basketball is calamity incarnate and Mitch is too precious of a stone for it. I understand if he wants to play but I would be just as satisfied not seeing him out there past some first and third quarters. He is legit and the evidence has been speaking for itself for a full year now. I can wait on his jump shot another few months, it’s fine. His free throw stroke did look much cleaner and I’ll take that as all the evidence. Need to keep this kid on the court when it counts. I’m sure USA basketball would agree.
  • On the other hand! Mitchell dunking all the dunks and blocking all the blocks sounds magnificent.
  • Is Amir Hinton the new Ognjen Jaramaz? No court time for Amir in game one.
  • The nasty man didn’t play in the second half after hurting his knee. I think his knee hurts because one of his legs is longer than the other. At the nurse’s office they telled you he banged knees but I’m telling you it’s a lie! Scott Perry did an excellent job dipping down in the draft so as not to draft the nasty man and take RJ Barrett instead.
  • RJ, RJ, RJ. Rough go for the Knicks’ top rookie. He still found his way to the rim for some clever and brolic buckets, absorbing contact and finishing. He played directly to the scouting report on him though. He was back cut in the opening moments. He put the blinders on when he drove. He rebounded and pushed without surveying. Ten points on 18 shots and two turnovers to one assist. He also had two of the ugliest bricked free throw I’ve seen in a minute. Please take the blinders off, Row June! It’s not all bad though:
  • Speaking of blinders. Allonzo isolated himself, as he is wont to do. His take the wheel approach to all things offense gummed up what was otherwise nice action in the early going for New York. Trier still has a knack for finding the alley of an oop, which I love. It is, however, very frustrating to see him break off and take twelve seconds to pound the ball while his teammates come to a full stop and he jacks a contested 18 footer. In general Trier seems to have refined his game without adding to it. It’s one game though, right?
  • One guy who’s game literally jumped out at you was Kenny Wooten. The springy Duck makes all sorts of effort plays. He doesn’t have the size of Robinson but he plays with a similar straight-to-the-point kind of bent. Not trying to outdo himself or overthink anything. Just relying on his fantastic athleticism. If he sticks around, he’s bound to see some time with the big club this year. Lot of power horse-wards in the stable though.
  • Mississippi State guard Lamar Peters was a fun little lefty jitterbug to watch. He hit some shots, zigged and zagged with the ball in his hands and generally seems like fun. Also seems to set at 1.5x speed.
  • Kadeem Allen remains fun but he doesn’t really set the table for his team. Maybe it’s got a lot to do with Trier and Barrett babysitting the ball, but I want to see him take more control instead of waiting for the ball to find energy. He’s playing the right way, but it’s not helping. Still had a couple nice flip shots and the requisite defensive effort.
  • The other big name rookie, Ignas Brazdeikis, did what he does. Pushing when given the opportunity, finishes with either hand, initiates contact, quality if not stellar defense. I love Ignant. He’s my kind of player. I’d like to see him get hot just to see how his teammates react. Will they feed the hot hand? Or try to join in on his exploits?

In the game thread, Airfeet said it best, “Nobody passes on this team”. My early hopes of RJ needing to feed all these hungry hippos would bring out the best in his playmaking proved unfounded. These Summer Knicks have to love one another more. It will set up a good foundation for their training camp and the 2019-20 season!

That was mostly that. The final part of the game will not be made up and the summer time favorites to win it all are already in the hole! Next game is Sunday against the Summer Suns who were set to play after the Knicks/Pelicans game but theirs was also canceled.

Then came the after shock.