That was not fun. And then it was fun. And then it was not fun again.
The SummerKnicks came out flatter than flat against the SummerPistons in their fourth Summer League game, but an incredible (even by Knicks of yesteryear) fake comeback featuring some smothering defense made this one palatable down the stretch, before New York finally fell to Detroit, 93-87.
Obi Toppin once again proved he’s probably too good for the summer stage at this point (other than a couple head-scratching missed layups), dropping in 31 points on 13-20 shooting to go with nine boards. At one point he even scored 11 straight points for the Knicks to guide the comeback effort:
Quentin Grimes put together easily his top two-way game of the summer slate so far, notching 15 points on 6-10 shooting (3-6 from deep), while playing some stellar defense in all of his 30 minutes. He even showed a little off-the-dribble and playmaking juice:
The surprising third star of the game was FC Barcelona-bound Rokas Jokubaitis, who might have been playing in his last Summer League game. Prior to the games starting, Rokas mentioned FCB had given him permission to play in three games, and this was the third. Maybe the Knicks can talk his club into just a little more time, because he put together easily his best game yet with eight points, two steals, a block, and a team-high +13 in just 12 minutes of court time.
And now for the not so pretty stuff. Jericho Sims sat for a rest day, which meant a start for Reid Travis. Travis is really not good. He shot 0-8, and was like the anti-Jokubaitis with his team-worst -17 in 12 minutes.
The guys we actually want to see play didn’t all do great either, though. Immanuel Quickley and Deuce McBride were both ice cold, combining to shoot a putrid 6-32 from the field. Those two combined were a pretty big part of the Knicks shooting 36.3% for the game overall. Still, their defensive efforts down the stretch helped the fake comeback, and also we know they don’t suck, so it’s all forgiven.
SEGABABA tomorrow night. Recap coming later from Joe. Shake it off, kiddos, it’s almost time for the Summer League playoffs.