The New York Knicks picked up the slack in game two of the Las Vegas Summer League to grab their first win in the tournament. Though it came at a cost as it resulted in a bruised wrist for first round pick, Tim Hardaway Jr. The scans came back negative but he is a doubt to play in tomorrows game against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Lets get straight into it. Hands down the MVP for the game for the New York Knicks was Terrence Jennings. Jennings finished with 16 points on 7-11 shooting and contributed 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks while showing defensive tenacity throughout the game. In the last game, Jennings only got to see 11 minutes but took advantage of each one of those minutes and for that the Knicks coaching staff awarded the PF with 9 extra minutes and it looks like the Knicks will have an even harder decision to make after the Vegas Summer League with Jennings now showing up to the party. Terrence Jennings finished with a PER of +23 and it showed as the game flowed better for the New York Knicks as it lead to a win.
The biggest disappointment for the Knicks was once again Chris Smith. Smith just did not look like he could get into his groove as he went 0-5 from the field (0 points), and 1 rebound, but showed some skill in terms of ball handling as he dished out 4 assists. The Knicks are not going to be looking for shooters heading into the 2013/2014 NBA season and if that is all Chris Smith wants to be, then he doesn’t even deserve to be starting on the Summer League team. He has not looked sharp at all and much like his brother, JR, he has poor shot selection the only difference is that JR Smith can get hot in a hurry and when he is, he is a lights out shooter.
Before Tim Hardaway Jr. had to go off for scans, he looked extremely sharp in his second game for the Knicks as he got 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal while shooting 3-6 from the field (1-2 from behind the arc) all in just the first quarter of action. He did not look nervous at all and we may be about to witness a few breakout games while he is in Vegas.
Some other notables from this game were C.J Leslie, Jeremy Tyler, Eloy Vargas, Toure Murray, and Justin Brownlee.
C.J Leslie really picked up the slack in his second game for the Knicks, after showing signs of nervousness in his first game. He finished with 9 points (4-10), with 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal in 22 minutes of action to cap off a productive night for himself.
After witnessing Jeremy Tyler in his first two games for the Knicks Summer League team, it seems like he has a legitimate chance of making the Knicks training camp. Tyler impressed with 13 points (6-9), and 8 rebounds in only 13 minutes of action. Tyler displayed signs of a potential mid range shot and ability to fight for every board on both ends of the court. Obviously he still has a long way to go but after his first two games, it doesn’t seem as hard as before for the developing big man.
Toure Murray is another one of these guys. He has shown real promise in his first two games and could get a look in for the role of third string PG once the season starts. Murray finished with 8 points (4-8), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal on his way to earning a PER of +16. But the stats don’t tell it all, Murray was a lockdown defender for every minute on the court court, one thing the Knicks lacked last season at the one. If Murray can develop a better perimeter jump shot, he has a really good chance of making the team because of his ability to drive and dish in traffic and space the floor.
The last notable player of the game was Justin Brownlee. Brownlee is not one of the more known players on this Knicks team but is a good player with a really good jump shot. In 20 minutes of action, Brownlee got 7 points on 3-5 shooting, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. He was a stat sheet stuffer and is now on the fringes of being a player who could get a further look in. He just has to show consistency in the upcoming games.
The next game for the Knicks is against Cody Zeller, and the Charlotte Bobcats at the Cox Pavillion on the 15th of July at 4:00 ET where the Knicks will be hoping to get a win to put them in the winners bracket.