The New York Knicks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 91-82, in a taut, well-played Summer League contest. The backcourt of Immanuel Quickley and Miles McBride led the way for New York with a combined 47 points. Credit the Lakers for trying their damnedest—though they kept going to the zone in the fourth, which is a coward move—but in Summer League, the Knicks are the team with the star power.
- For some reason, ESPN chose to highlight the play of some dude named Austin Reaves in a pregame segment. I doubt Miles McBride was watching the TV, but I believe that, somehow, he found out that they were hyping this scrub. Deuce noticed, and he took offense. The Knicks rookie hounded poor Austin Reaves like a cheetah stalking a wounded antelope. Look at this photo:
Look at Deuce’s eyes. That’s a killer, right there. Reaves shot 1-8 for the game. Poor guy.
- But we already knew Deuce was a hellacious defender. The real revelation on Wednesday was that he’s also a one-man zone buster. The Lakers did in the second half what teams did to New York several times last season—they turned to the zone defense to try and stymie the Knicks. It didn’t work, mainly because young McBride shot 6-6 from beyond the arc on his way to 20 second-half points (he had 22 for the game). Whenever the Knicks needed that three-ball to hold back LA, Deuce was there. He also had 5 assists—several of them absolute dimes—and 7 rebounds.
The Knicks are loaded at guard, but if McBride continues to play like this, they just might find some minutes for him.
- Immanuel Quickley is pretty small by NBA standards, but he is tough. The Lakers played him as physically as any opponent I’ve seen, throwing multiple defenders at him and roughing him up at every opportunity. The result was 10 free throws for IQ, who was having the time of his life. At one point in the first half, a mic’ed-up Quickley said to his opponents: “Ain’t no keeping me off the line. I get to the line when I want.” IQ has been off with the three-ball in Vegas—he shot just 1-6 on this night—but he hit 6-9 from inside the arc and got to the line when he wanted. He finished the evening with 25 points and 7 assists. He did struggle a bit for a few possessions in the second half when the Lakers went to a press defense, but he only committed 3 turnovers in the game.
- Quentin Grimes (8 points, 3-9 shooting) is quickly retreating into McBride’s shadow, but I thought he was excellent on defense and on the boards (9 rebounds). He was solid.
- Jericho Sims finally missed a shot...and it was a three-pointer! Kid looked confident pulling up from beyond the arc, though. This wasn’t the best game for the rook, as he committed 4 turnovers and struggled at times defending Devontae Cacock. He also had NINE fouls. Still, he did some cool things.
As the great @JCMacriNBA said on his postgame tonight, there is one Center on the Knicks roster capable of doing something like this. And it's not just the finish. How about finding his footing calmly on the catch, spinning, and taking a confident dribble all in one motion? pic.twitter.com/47sN9aO14r— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) August 12, 2021
- Rough game for Obi Toppin, who struggled at time with the Lakers’ physicality. Obi attacked the rim relentlessly, but too far from the basket and with too many defenders in his path. He ended the game 6-17 from the field with 5 turnovers. He did pull down 11 rebounds, though.
- Rokas Jokubaitis (8 points, 3-4 shooting) hit a couple of nice threes and generally looked like a player in his eight minutes of playing time. Good for him!
The Knicks are off until Friday. Until then, you can catch them chillin’ at Benihana.