After beginning the New Year with a busy stretch of games, the Westchester Knicks (16-16) relaxed for a few days, before returning to action. As All-Star Weekend approaches, the W-Knicks have traded wins and losses but they remain in solid contention for the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot.
Throughout their recent games against the Long Island Nets (Lost 116-111), Raptors 905 (Won 116-110), Maine Red Claws (Lost 110-103) and the Iowa Wolves (Won 126-123), the W-Knicks remained consistent with their offensive production until the final four minutes of the game. Whether it was Tim Bond’s last-second ejection against the Nets in a one-possession game or allowing the Red Claws to go on a 7-0 run in the same circumstances, the W-Knicks are learning a great lesson in what it takes to finish games.
But on the bright side, this team doesn’t have any problems finding big-time contributors, whether they’re known or not. Upon returning from his brief release by the W-Knicks, Ivan Rabb has produced four double-doubles and is emerging as a top offensive option on this team. The likes of JJ Moore, Tim Bond, and Anthony White III are becoming better scorers, especially when two-way player Kadeem Allen and emerging NBA call-up Lamar Peters aren’t in action.
Yet, when it’s all said and done, the W-Knicks’ best player has been no other than Ignas Brazdeikis. The rookie from Michigan, who was drafted by the NY Knicks in last year’s Draft, is on an incredible scoring streak down here in the G-League. Dating back to the start of January, Brazdeikis has averaged 25 PPG while shooting 53% from the field and 37% from three.
The biggest difference between Iggy’s performance now and a couple of months ago, is his comfort as a ball-handler. Although he always possessed the ability to handle the ball and run pick and roll, Iggy sometimes struggled in either area, as he was facing different types of versatility and physicality from NBA-caliber defenses. So seeing Iggy’s recent play is a byproduct of his hard work and the Knicks’ overall interest in developing him properly.
And just in case you were wondering about the other parts of Iggy’s game? Don’t worry, they’re coming along too. Since January 11th, the Knicks second-round pick has produced three games with at least 12 rebounds and is scratching the surface as a passer (In three, different games, he produced five, seven, and eight assists).
Up next for the Westchester Knicks are a pair of morning games on the road against the Iowa Wolves and Fort Wayne Mad Ants.