Summer is nearly over, which means it’s time for New York basketball fans to get ready for the start of the season. The G League season, to be precise.
That’s right, the schedule for the G League has been released!
The Westchester Knicks — led by new head coach Derrick Alston — return to action on Nov. 9 against the Raptors 905, which are named that because 905 is a major area code in suburban Toronto, in case you were interested.
The W-Knicks will play 24 times at home this season, along with 24 away contests, plus two games at the annual G League Winter Showcase, totaling 50 games. The playoffs will start no later than Tuesday, March 31.
Knicks fans that live near the Westchester County Center, where the W-Knicks play their home games, should definitely take the opportunity to go see the team play this year, as the Knicks are an organization that has utilized the G League exactly the way it was intended. Consider that the roster for last year’s W-Knicks opener — a 95-92 victory over the Maine Red Claws — featured Isaiah Hicks, John Jenkins, Kadeem Allen, Allonzo Trier and Bill Garrett Jr., all of whom spent at least a smidgen of time with the Knicks proper last season.
Meanwhile, the Knicks G League squad has previously employed the likes of Trey Burke, Luke Kornet, Langston Galloway and Jimmer Fredette, among others. This year, the roster is likely to feature standouts, and potential future NBA call-ups, like Kenny Wooten and Lamar Peters.
Wooten, 6’9”, displayed beast-like potential during Summer League, including 10 blocks in 52 minutes over four games, and you shouldn’t be surprised if he eventually makes his way to the regular Knicks at some point this season.
Peters, 6’0”, posted 1.2 points and 1.8 assists over five games in Summer League, including the following glorious assist to Ignas Brazdeikis. Because he’s a point guard, his best bet to make the normal Knicks is likely injuries to one or more of the three point guards the team currently employs (Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr., Elfrid Payton).
Lamar Peters might have just hit Iggy with the best Knicks assist of Summer League so far. Filthy. pic.twitter.com/XaEPnVRDWI— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) July 11, 2019
Last year’s W-Knicks finished 29-21, good for second in the G League’s Atlantic Division. The team lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Lakeland Magic. This year’s W-Knicks will be coached by Alston, who was an assistant coach for the team last year and was announced as the new head coach on Aug. 20.
Alston replaces Mike Miller, who is headed up the NBA to be assistant coach for David Fizdale. Miller coached the W-Knicks for four seasons, with an overall record of 108-92 and three postseason appearances. He also won G League Coach of the Year in 2017-18, meaning Alston has big shoes to fill.
Alston is a former NBA player himself, although his career only spanned three seasons (two with the Philadelphia 76ers and one with the Atlanta Hawks). For his career, Alston averaged 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 19.1 minutes per game.
Here’s hoping he can bring the W-Knicks to the promised land, and help develop some standout talents that will eventually make their way to the NBA in order to help take the big boy Knicks to the promised land.