On Sunday in Las Vegas, the SummerNets beat the SummerKnicks 98-80 thanks to tough defense. That, plus a loss on Saturday to the SummerSixers, leaves our heroes 0-2 in the desert.
Armoni Brooks notched 21 points and three steals to lead the Brooklynites. Yesterday for the Knicks, Charlie Brown, Jr. had 16 points and six rebounds, and Jaylen Martin chipped in 15 points and six assists. Isaiah Roby and Dmytro Skapintsev had 12 points apiece. Trevor Keels was also present.
Despite bringing a 49-47 advantage into halftime, the Sin City Knicks managed only 31 points after intermission. The Nets logged 51 during that span.
The Nets’ defense made the difference in the second half. They limited the Knicks to 10-of-36 shooting from the floor and collected 13 points off eight turnovers.
Against the SummerSixers, DaQuan Jeffries led New York with 20 points, including 10 in the first five minutes. He played with strength and assurance against the weaker competition. Unfortunately, a hip contusion (day-to-day) kept him out of Sunday’s game.
Hoping to secure the roster spot previously held by Obi Toppin, Isaiah Roby did himself no favors in the first Vegas game. On Sunday, he shot the ball better (5-for-9 from the floor, 2-for-4 from deep) and grabbed six boards, but yet again committed three turnovers.
Roby rhymes with Obi, and when the season starts, it will be awkward if fans at Madison Square Garden still chant for the latter....
Roby’s -24 wasn’t the worst of the squad, however. That distinction belonged to Trevor Keels, who scored eight points in 19 minutes.
Keels shot 2-for-5 from downtown and improved upon his two-point performance from the previous game, but his -29 is an eyesore in the box score. The 19-year-old former Duke Blue Devil played 24 games at guard for the Westchester Knicks last season, and all signs point to him returning there for the 2023-24 campaign.
Jaylen Martin, who recently inked a two-way contract with New York, was inserted into the starting line-up for Sunday’s affair. Despite not shooting well, he played 34 minutes and his 15 points put him among the team leaders. He also recorded two steals.
Over two games in the Devil’s Playground, Jaylen Martin has shot 8-for-22 from the floor. On Sunday, he chucked up a bunch of three-balls, finishing 3-for-11 (27%). Not encouraging numbers, but fingers crossed for better days.
Dmytro Skapintsev, on the other hand, took almost all his shots in the paint and finished with an efficient 5-of-9 stat line. He also collected four rebounds, two assists, and a steal.
The seven-foot-one Ukrainian played at California State-Northridge before joining the W-Knicks last season. On Saturday against the SummerSixers, Skapintsev scored 10 points, eight boards, and three blocks in 13 minutes; yesterday, he was the only Knick with a positive net number (4). I’d buy a ticket to see the big fella play with the Westchester branch this upcoming season.
Is it too late for Quentin Grimes to join the team and storm the Summer League Playoffs? Afraid so. The next game is Wednesday against Anthony Black and the SummerMagic. Go Knicks!