After having their first game cut short, we got the director’s cut for the Summer Knicks’ second game. This one went into overtime after some Iggy Brazdeikis heroics. Unfortunately the summer dudes ran out of runway and the Suns made their face dO LiKe tHiS.
It’s been three months since I last recapped. Have I worked on my game? No. So let’s overanalyze every tiny detail of this junk.
- No Allonzo Trier. His tummy hurted. That pushed the star of the night, big Iggy Brazdeikis, into the starting lineup and he wedged his way into the spotlight. The Million Dollar Canadian Man, Mr. Ignant, is going to charm the Garden faithful. Before long people around the league will be wondering why this guy slipped out of the first round. They’ll be saying the Knicks were so smart for nabbing the best Canadian basketball player in the draft. They’ll also mention it took a couple of tries, but they got it. That’s what matters.
- Speaking of Canadians, though no the best Canadian drafted in 2019, RJ Barrett had another horrendous shooting night, which inspired this debate in the P&T slack:
Since he is bad at shooting, should it be:— stingy (@aighttho) July 8, 2019
- Barrett has done pretty explicitly what he did all year at Duke. Has played almost exactly to the downside of his scouting report and is not inspiring much confidence. He shot 3-15 from the field, 1-4 at the foul line. Factor in his eight turnovers (at least one on a charging violation) and it just couldn’t get much worse for Barrett. Which you have to assume is the bright side. This is as bad as it gets, therefore: it’s just Summer League, friends!
- The shooting was bad for RJ and scorching for Iggy but here’s something to consider: RJ had two steals and one block. Iggy had neither of either. Thusly! RJ, defensive stalwart. Iggy defense sieve, am I right?
- For Mitchell Robinson, who is the best player on the Knicks team, including all the new guys, his free throw stroke looks so good now. He also seems to go for rebounds with more force than we saw for much of last year. Driving guys backward using lower body strength, then using his length and hops.
- Mitchell tries to block everything, and Jared Harper knows this, so he was able to keep Mitch on his heels more than you normally see. All those Auburn kids are legit. They play hard and smart and Harper will definitely deserve some burn this season for Phoenix. He’s like Earl Boykins with clamps.
- Staying with Robinson for a moment, he continues to get some of the worst lobs thrown to him I have ever seen. Still manages to come up with some of them, but can the Knicks do a little better getting him actionable passes, please?
- Kevin Knox’s jumper looks super clean and quick. In the corner, contested, snapping the net. Even on a elbow post up, he turned and faced and came up short, but on line, loks good. Maybe it was just some rest time that has him re-energized, or maybe he’s getting a little stronger. No matter what- it’s been looking as pure as it gets for Knox. He even finished through a big after intiating contact at one point. He’ll need to carry this confidence through. I wonder if he starts over RJ come the regular season. Hmmm....
- Knox and Robinson didn’t communicate on defense for basically all five of Rayvonte Rice’s threes. Screen comes, Knox dies underneath it, Robinson stays with screener, Rice sticks it, Knox throws up his hands. Repeat.
- Got our first look at Amir Hinton, and he did fine. He has good size for a wing. Sees the floor like a scorer. Had an almost and-1 that hang on the rim, before falling off, for about as long as the earthquake lasted. Had a nice cut. And had a nice drive and snatch back that left him open for a little eight footer. More, please.
- Ran out of patience for Lamar Peters. Still like that he’s very fast, but man if I don’t feel like I’m watching a squat Brandon Jennings.
- Tyler Cavanaugh came to play! Smart cutter, pretty jumper, plays with an edge. Is this just him going full bore in an attempt to catch on with a club? Probably. I liked it.
- What I said earlier about Knox possibly starting over RJ? Yea nah, David Fizdale is gonna treat Barret like he’s Carmelo Anthony. Just keep feeding him and feeding him and feeding him...
Latvian Prankster said “society collapses by 2030” so it doesn’t matter if RJ Barrett is no good. I’m inclined to agree. In the meantime, let’s see the Knicks do their damndest and be fun. Next game is Tuesday against the Summer Raptors at (you guessed it) 9:30 EST. This one will be on NBA TV, so plan accordingly.